Big purple eggplant. Ripe red tomatoes. Green peppers, onions and zucchini galore. Sounds like a great ratatouille. At least from what I recall seeing in that cartoon...
I've never made ratatouille before, but of course, that didn't stop me. I kept thinking of Remy from the Ratatouille movie. (You know, the one that's a rodent.)
OK, here is where I usually get the heebie jeebies. The train of thought goes something like this: Rodent. Infestation. Plague. Black Death. Doom. So, generally speaking, dinner inspiration comes from many places. But rodentia? This is a first.
Got my trusty cookbook (which I wish included photos, but then it would weigh 40 pounds). Oven-baked ratatouille called for a casserole dish. Here is where I have to admit, once again, to being a bad Southerner. I don't really like casseroles. But, I did find a dish that I guessed might work. (And, as a side note, the Casserole Queens are my new heroes.)
I sliced all those lovely veggies, stacked em up, and threw in some fresh thyme and garlic to keep away vampires (myth dispelled?) for good measure. Then, of course, I drizzled (OK, doused) it with olive oil. Baked for about an hour and here's the result. It's missing a few tomatoes that were originally there because, as I was following the recipe's advice to press the vegetables down with a spatula every so often (it only took once), half the top tomato layer got stuck to said spatula and are now residing in the crack at the bottom of my oven door.
What I was most delighted with was the leftovers. Piled high on a hoagie roll, topped with mozzarella and oregano, and toasted to melty goodness, leftover ratatouille makes one heck of an awesome sandwich.
Yes, I did eat the whole thing. And the chips too (they were my husband's contribution -- he panicked just a bit when I mentioned were were having vegetable sandwiches for dinner... the horror!). And some zucchini cake. For the record: this is why I run.