My Little Victory Garden: Ratatouille’s Ratatouille For Two-ie

You know the scene, right?  The rat’s cooking has turned a failing restaurant around and garnered enough raves to entice a visit from the most revered food critic in Paris.  So, did the staff serve him truffles, pate’, or something lovely drenched in butter?  No, Remy (the infamous rat chef) served the food critic a peasant dish: ratatouille.  As the first bite was analyzed, memories of childhood and a mother’s love flooded through the critic’s brain.  The corners of his mouth turned upward, and the rest was…well, if you haven’t seen the movie, then perhaps you should.

As I rummaged around in my garden this week, I had a light bulb moment. My first cucuzza squash was harvested. My onions were dried and ready for cooking, my eggplants were producing about 2-4 fruits per week, my tomatoes were growing  and my chocolate bell peppers were making.  I had ALL the ingredients I needed to recreate my own movie scene, right in my own kitchen.  So I did.  I’ll share a recipe at the bottom of the post, so don’t get frustrated if you’re not seeing quantities and exact instructions.  I’ll make sure you are armed and dangerously ready to recreate your OWN movie scene very soon.

I had leftover marinara sauce, made with tomatoes from the Food Co-op, my own oregano, and garlic from Piedmont. So, I spread the sauce over the bottom of my casserole dish, approximately 3/8" thick.
Then I took my squash, my eggplant, a purple onion, my chocolate bell, and a GREEN tomato, and sliced them all very thin. This took me about ten minutes…the longest task of the entire process.
I then decided upon my pattern: eggplant, green tomato, onion, 2 or 3 squash slices, and a bell pepper. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.
One row is complete at this point…
I have 10 of these stoneware casseroles so I grabbed a second dish, flipped it over, drew around the edge and cut out a baking cover from a paper sack. Then I trimmed inside the lines in order for the paper to fit nicely over the dish.
I brushed the entire top of the veggie design with olive oil, and applied sea salt and pepper liberally. Then I tested the cover. It fit, so I “un-folded” the creases the opposite way they were formed in order for the cover to lay flat (this photo was taken BEFORE I flattened the creases). It worked! Into a 425 degree oven for 45 minutes.
I pulled the dish out of the oven, took off the cover, and breathed deeply. I truly wish you could smell this dish. As much as my short ribs were a *fail*, this dish was a WIN!
I plated the dish for my husband and I, and garnished them with shreds of ribbon-thin whole milk mozzerella and a basil leaf. Bon apetit!

I happen to adore the “Smitten Kitchen” food blog.  So, I am sharing her recipe with you, as it was the inspiration (although not the product) for mine.  I happen to love green tomatoes – baked, fried, used as a complement to other vegetables or proteins.  So, be sure to use the veggies that you most love.  After all…when you take a bite, you want the corners of your mouth to turn upward, don’t you?

See you next week – Love,


Last week: Leeks and the Squash Monster / Next Week – Making Sumac Lemonade

For all the “My Little Victory Garden” posts, click here.



7 thoughts on “My Little Victory Garden: Ratatouille’s Ratatouille For Two-ie”

  1. Wow, I had forgotten that. Thanks so much for the correction-I’ve made the change and appreciate you! Remy. Yes, the rat deserves to have his name correctly cited. Cheers–RDK

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