Julia Child’s Ratatouille for #SundaySupper as we #CookForJulia

Happy Birthday Julia!!  On August 15th, Julia Child would have been 100 years old.  Sadly, she left this world several years ago, but she left behind a legacy that has inspired both professional chefs and novice cooks, alike.  I remember watching Julia’s shows on PBS on my grandma’s 12-inch television when I was just a small child, pretending the perfume bottles and knick knacks that were scattered on her dresser were my bottles of ingredients as I “cooked” in her bedroom.  That is why I am so excited that #SundaySupper is joining with PBS celebrate this event as we help them kick off the celebration during the week leading up to her birthday, as foodies around the world unite to #CookForJulia!

“Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.” – Julia Child

Julia was wise and smart, and not just in the kitchen.  I wish her words above had rung in my ears at an earlier age.  While I am happy I found my passion for food, I wish I had discovered it sooner.  Or perhaps I had discovered it, as evidenced by my story above, but maybe I just didn’t accept it, and instead went with the more traditional route for your typical, geeky “smart girl” – 4 years of college followed by starting a career in my chosen field.  Well, maybe one day I will get to culinary school.  But for now, I am just going to keep interested in this passion (as well as my newer one – food photography) and indulge it by sharing with all of my wonderful readers, and learning from all of my incredible foodie friends.

“You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.” – Julia Child

When deciding what to make for #SundaySupper, I went to Facebook and asked my fans what I should make.  I got a lot of great suggestions, but one thing jumped out at me – Ratatouille!

Julia Child Ratatouille in pot top

I knew that I would be getting pretty much every ingredient from my CSA share, so it was the perfect recipe to be able to use the freshest ingredients for this time of year.  It felt good to know that I was preparing this recipe truly in her spirit, by using what was local and in season.

I am not going to say that this was a quick recipe, but it is not difficult.  And is is easily made in advance, so if you have some time and find peeling and cutting and sautéing as therapeutic as I do, then give this recipe a try.  I made it the night before, and since my tomatoes didn’t seem super-juicy, and we tend to like our veggies fairly soft, I added about a quarter cup of water.  Totally not necessary.  By the time I pulled to pot out of the fridge the next day to reheat it, a ton of juices had been given off.  So I had to boil it down a little.  But this was OK to me, since, as I said, we do like softer veggies.

Ratatouille collage 1

For so few ingredients, I could not believe how flavorful the ratatouille was.  I guess that is what she was trying to say – fresh, local, in-season ingredients are all you need to make good food.

Ratatouille pot and plate 1

While channeling my own inner-Julia, I also made her roast chicken and a mini version of Pommes Anna, which I hope to share with you as we continue to celebrate in the days leading up to her birthday.

Julia Child Dinner

Samantha of The Little Ferraro Kitchen has done a fabulous job planning and hosting this week’s event, and at the bottom of this post, you will see the links to all of the #SundaySupper #CookWithJulia participants and the amazing recipes they have selected and recreated.  And remember, the fun starts every week at 3:00pm ET by showcasing fabulous recipes. At 7:00 pm ET, we will start our live chat.  Join us on twitter by using hashtag #SundaySupper or using Tweetchat.  We love to feature your recipes on our #sundaysupper pinterest board and share them with all of our followers. In addition, PBS Food and #JC100 will be tweeting with us and kicking off her 100th Birthday celebrations.  See you there!

I hope that you are inspired to cook something wonderful for your family and friends, and, more importantly, to follow your passion!!

Julia Child Ratatouille collage 2Do you have a favorite Julia Child recipe?

4.5 from 4 reviews
Ratatouille (Eggplant Casserole - with tomatoes, onions, peppers, and zucchini)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Side Dish, Veggies
Ingredients
For the tomatoes:
  • 1 lb. firm, ripe, red tomatoes
For the eggplant and zucchini:
  • 1 lb. eggplant
  • 1 lb. zucchini
  • 1 t salt
  • 3-4T olive oil, or more if needed
For the onions and peppers:
  • ½ lb. thinly sliced yellow onions
  • 2 sliced green bell peppers
  • 2-3 T olive oil, if necessary
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper
For final preparation:
  • 3 T minced parsley
  • Salt and pepper
Instructions
For the tomatoes:
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil.
  2. Slice an "X" in the bottom of each tomato.
  3. Place the tomatoes in the boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until skin starts to separate from the tomato.
  4. Allow to cool slightly, then remove the skin.
  5. Slice the tomatoes in half, remove seeds and juice, and slice into ⅜-inch strips.
  6. Set aside.
For the eggplant and zucchini:
  1. Peel eggplant, and cut into slices about ⅜ in. thick, 2-3 in. long, and 1 in. wide.
  2. Slice off the ends of the zucchini, and cut into slices about the same size as the eggplant (I quartered the zucchini lengthwise, then cut 2-3 in. long).
  3. Toss the vegetables in a bowl with the salt, and let stand for 30 minutes.
  4. Drain and dry on a towel.
  5. Heat about 1T olive oil at a time in a 10- to 12-in enamel skillet or pot.
  6. In a single layer, saute the eggplant for about 1 minute per side, followed by the zucchini, until lightly browned, adding more olive oil, as needed.
  7. Set aside in a bowl.
For the onions and peppers:
  1. In the same skillet as the eggplant and zucchini, cook the onions and peppers slowly in olive oil for about 10 minutes, or until tender but not browned.
  2. Add garlic, and salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Lay the reserved tomato slices over the onions and pepper. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cover and cook on low for about 5 minutes, or until tomatoes begin to release their juices.
  5. Uncover, baste tomatoes with juices, increase heat, and boil until most of the juice has evaporated.
For final preparation:
  1. Place one-third of tomato mixture into an enameled pot or other casserole that can go on the stovetop. Sprinkle with 1 T parsley.
  2. Arrange half of the eggplant and zucchini on top, then half of the remaining tomato mixture, and another 1 T parsley.
  3. Arrange the rest of the eggplant and zucchini, then the remaining tomatoes and parsley.
  4. Cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes (See Notes).
  5. Uncover, baste with juices, and adjust seasoning.
  6. Increase heat slightly, and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes, basting occasionally, until juices have almost completely evaporated.
Notes
This dish can be cooked one or more days in advance. If you are serving right away and/or you prefer your veggies a little softer, you may have to add a touch of water and cook a but longer. If you are going to refrigerate and reheat the next day, the veggies will give off more liquid as they sit.

Enjoy!
Julia Child Ratatouille caption
Join us this week Around the Family Table for #SundaySupper!  That fun starts at 3pm EST with these fabulous recipes being showcased and ends with our #SundaySupper live chat at 7pm EST.  This is a #SundaySupper you don’t want to miss!

#CookForJulia Breakfast

Râpée Morvandelle by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings 

Croissants by Cookistry 

Cheese and Bacon Quiche by Tora’s Real Food

#CookForJulia Lunch

Tuna Salad Nicoise by Magnolia Days 

Blood Orange, Walnut, and Rocket Salad by Granny’s Down Home Southern Cooking 

Croque Monsieur by Webicurean

Spinach and Cream Cheese Pancakes by Happy Baking Days 

Julia’s Chicken Salad by My Trials in the Kitchen 

Pissaladière Niçoise (Onion Tart with Anchovies and Black Olives) by The Wimpy Vegetarian

Provencal Tomato Quiche by Are you hungry?

Quiche Lorraine  Spoon and Saucer 

Potato and Onion Soup (Potage Parmentier) by Shockingly Delicious

#CookForJulia Dinner

Bouillabaisse by The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen 

Boeuf Bourguignon by Chelsea’s Culinary Indulgence

Orecchiette Con Broccoli Di Rape and Sausages by Doggie at the Dinner Table 

Boeuf Bourguignon by Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks

Veal Stew with Onions and Mushrooms with Baked Cucumbers and Boiled Potatoes (Blanquette de veau a l’ancienne with concombres au buerre) by Kimchi Mom

Salmon en Papillote by Girlichef

Poached salmon with cucumber sauce by Katherine Martinelli

Lobster Souffle and Deviled Chicken- Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends 

Roasted Chicken with Julia’s Mustard Marinade by The Meltaways

Wild Mushroom and Herb Stuffed Chicken- Mama Mommy Mom

Puree of White Beans with Garlic and Herbs (Brandade á la Soissonaise) Avocado Pesto

Poulet au Porto by Family Foodie 

#CookForJulia Sides

Hollondaise over Blanched Asparagus by The Little Ferraro Kitchen

Scalloped Potatoes with Milk, Cheese, and Garlic (Gratin Dauphinois) by Home Cooking Memories 

Ratatouille by Basic N Delicious 

French-style country pate by There and Back Again

White Bean Dip with Homemade Tortilla Chips Momma’s Meals

Oeufs à la Diable by What Smells So Good?

Soubise by The Weekend Gourmet

Ratatouille by Cupcakes and Kale Chips

#CookForJulia Desserts

Cream Cheese and Lemon Flan by Juanita’s Cocina

Strawberry Sherbert in Cooky Cups by Cravings of a Lunatic

Creme Brulee by Wine Everyday

Mousseline Au Chocolat by Small Wallet Big Appetite

Peach Tarte Tatin by That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Cinnamon Toast Flan by Vintage Kitchen Notes

Dark Chocolate Crepes by Family Spice

Crepes Fines Sucrees by Mangoes and Chutney

Pommes Rosemarie:Apples Rosie  The Daily Dish Recipes

Espresso Soufflé by Chocolate Moosey

Best Ever Brownies by In the Kitchen with Audrey

Orange-Almond Jelly Roll Cake by Mrs. Mama Hen

Orange Spongecake Cupcakes by Mama’s Blissful Bites

Orange Mousse with Greek Yogurt by Sue’s Nutrition Buzz

Frozen Chocolate Mousse by Big Bear’s Wife

Wine Pairings: Relishing Food and Wine; Thanks to Julia Child! by ENOFYLZ

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Absolutely beautiful! I want to dive right in with my spoon. Now to go to the farmers market first and get all the fresh veggies…

  2. says

    Great photos and presentation!

    For some reason, I thought ratatouille was a mish mosh stew. I was wrong. This looks great! And I’m sure it tasted pretty incredible!

    Thank you for sharing Samantha!

  3. says

    This looks so fabulous I want to eat it right off your blog :) Love all the veggies you used. Am pinning this and making this … maybe next week :)

  4. says

    I’ve been meaning to make Ratatouille ever since the movie Ratatouille came out but never took the plunge. You’ve given me inspiration. I’ve added Ratatouille to my “soon to make list”. Thanks for sharing.

  5. says

    Aaagh this looks amazing! I absolutely adore ratatouille and used to make it all the time back in the UK (or, at least a non visually-pleasing version of it) and it’s a recipe that I can find all the ingredients for pretty easily here in Korea! Thanks so much for sharing – and loving the idea of how you served it with the chicken and potatoes :)

  6. cynthia says

    Thats way too much work for Ratatouille. All you need to do is cut up into large bite sized pieces the vegetables, then pour some salt and olive oil over them, toss, then place in oven. All the other preparations like cutting the skin off tomatoes and soaking the eggplant in salt is uneccesarry and can’t imagine it fundamentally changes the flavor.

  7. says

    This is so seasonal, and you’ve arranged it so beautifully in the pot, almost like a kaleidoscope pattern. Of course I’ve heard of salting eggplant to get the bitterness out (though it’s really only the big eggplants that need that) but it’s interesting that she calls for salting the zucchini and eggplant together. I’ll think of this one next time my husband brings home eggplant from the farmer’s market.

      • says

        Sounds like you had a great and productive time! We did have a pick your own farm about a mile away from where we live and we would go fiflhaulty ever couple of weeks. My son really enjoyed being able to pick his own but unfortunately,they ended up closing last summer due to lack of business. It always seemed busy to me but apparently a big commercial type farm basically stole all of their business. Now we have to pay 40-50% more than we did when we picked our own. :-(

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