25 January 2008

Things I like about summer, VI

R a t a t o u i l l e !
Onions, zucchini, and bell peppers

Summer's classic vegetables. The ones we grow in our gardens when the weather cooperates. Cooked in the style of Provence.

Add tomatoes, eggplant, garlic, thyme ... and stir

Ratatouille is one of those dishes that is more photogenic before you cook it than after. But it needs long slow cooking for all the flavors to blend and the textures to soften.

The ratatouille in these pictures was one in which most of the vegetables — onions, peppers, eggplant, and summer squash received their own light cooking before they all went into a big pot together. I think it was inspired by Julia Child.

You knew my summertime theme would eventually get around to food, didn't you?


  1. wow that looks delicious. i miss summer! ill be visiting here to escape the cold days of winter!

  2. I have lots of food memories- springerle cookies that my dad used to bring me at Christmas from the German bakery near where he worked. BTW mom and dad always called the building where he worked (storing eggs, killing and dressing chickens,etc.) "the place."

    I first had ratatouille when I visited my french families beach cottage at Palavas near Montpellier. I remember the smell when Madame Pahon cooked it in a frying pan and the taste was delicious. My parents didn't cook with garlic, so I bet it was the first time I tasted garlic or eggplant.

    Luckily I was just 15 then and have had many opportunities to eat eggplant, especially after I talked my dad into planting some in our garden.

  3. These memories of summer are balm to those of us surrounded by snow.
    Ken, I'd be interested to know what you grow in your garden. Do you start anything from seed yourselves?
    When can you set out lettuces?

  4. Ken: As I told you yesterday, I click photos now to enlarge them on my screen. The ratatouille is torture! I can touch it, I can nearly smell it, but taste it? Impossible! Maybe they'll devise a way one day...Anyhow, I always fix a better meal for myself when I see yours. Thanks for the incentive.

  5. What a good idea to do a summer series in January. It seems like many of your readers are enjoying the dream of warmer weather, brighter colors, and summer vegetables. As Ginny said, it's been very grey and wet here lately. Your photos are a sensational way to start a daydream.

  6. Les grands esprits se rencontrent!

    I haven't visited your blog for a week or so, but was feeling so fed up with cold and/or grey and/or root vegetables that I almost started posting a spring/summer series myself!

    I love December, find January difficult, and downright hate February. But time will pass; it always does.


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