Summer Ratatouille

I learned two things from watching the Pixar film “Ratatouille“.

  1. American Airlines only shows animated films that are child-appropriate during 8 hour flights to California, and the version of, say, Ratatouille that they chose to purchase must be so old and over-used that both the picture and sound are almost indecipherable.
  2. Apparently it is really really hard to make good ratatouille.

So when I read a recipe for Ratatouille in the LA Times (because I read the LA Times, due to my super high-brow fanciness.  Or I found the link to the recipe on Flipboard.), I decided to get ma shit together and try to make it.  GOOD.  MAKE IT GOOD.

Ok, so apparently, when you make things good, you have to like spend a whole bunch of time and effort on things.  You can’t just dump a whole bunch of junk into a pan then go listen to records.  Le boo.

I decided to prep everything first.  Prepping things took a long time.

First you have to “soak the zucchinis” for 30 minutes.  Why?  There is no rationale provided for why you have to soak the zucchinis.  I even googled “why soak zucchinis” and was not satisfied by any of the responses.  And yet, I had decided to follow all instructions, so I soaked them.

Ha ha ha ha.  They look like dongs.

Then you have to peel and “seed” all the tomatoes.  I have never peeled a tomato in my life.  It sucks.  Like, seriously sucks.  They flop and slip all over your hands, and say hypothetically if you had cut your hand on a beer glass two days ago, the acidity from the tomatoes would BURN YOUR HANDS like the burn of burning burning acid.

ANYways.  You have to peel and seed the tomatoes, soak the zucchinis, cut them, peel and cut the eggplant, cut up the onions, mince the garlic, chop the peppers, and chop all of the herbs (I chose barley basil, parsley, and thyme).

Here is my chef station.  I’m pretty serious, just so you know:

Ok, so now that you have everything ready, you have to sautee everything INDIVIDUALLY.  Again, you can’t just dump everything into a pan then go listen to records.


Sautee them onions.

Eggplant soaks up oil like nobody’s business.

…then the peppers…

…oh yeah, that soaked zucchini.

And that peeled, seeded tomato mush.

Ok, now that it’s been like seventeen hours and you want to shoot yourself in the face, it’s time to put all the individually sauteed vegetables and throw them into a big pot and let it simmer.  Then throw in your herbs.

Time to eat.


Hate to say it.

It was really really good.  Like really good.

I’m pretty amazing.

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  1. you are much more patient than i. i would say “fuck that, you guys all get sauteed together so you better make friends quickfast”

  2. I am pretty sure I don’t have patience either. The name Sarah does, after all, mean Princess.

    And that is why I like cereal for dinner. mmm.

  3. Don’t peel tomatoes with a knife. Blanch them instead. It’s SO much easier. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice and water. Using a slotted spoon, first dip the tomato into the boiling water for about 20-30 seconds, then into the ice water for 20-30 seconds. Repeat until the tomato’s skin starts to get wrinkly and peely. Then just peel the skin off with your fingers! Easy peasy.

  4. I ate the “sautee together” version and it was nice but not that “OMG this ratatuille thing is amAAAAAzing”, more of a “what’s the big deal… it’s just veggies mushed together, I do that all the time”.

    It says on the recipe that zucchini are soaked so they remain crispy later, and I wandered how to do that. So, soaking it is.
    Simpler way to peel tomatoes: boil water, pour over tomatoes, and soak them for a while (more soaking, yay!). when tomato-skin cracks (and gets wrinky and peely), first cool them in some cold water then pull the skin off.

    I love your blog, I’m happy AT made this discovery for me :)

  5. Since when is barley a herb?!? I can’t believe you post such nonsense.

  6. Holy herb police. I meant “basil” and wrote my post so quickly I spelled it barley. Probably because I was drinking a beer. ANYWAYS, I’ve corrected the nonsense, thanks for letting me know.

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