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Posts Tagged ‘bell peppers’

100_1889Last August, I posted about ratatouille. Here it is again. Why won’t I shut up about ratatouille? First, because I want to demonstrate that – slowly and unsurely – I am becoming a better photographer. Second, because I tried a new way of cooking ratatouille that I actually like way better.

“There is much debate on how to make a traditional ratatouille.” Some version of this sentence appears on the Wikipedia page of just about every dish known to man, and it brings up one of my least favorite concepts in food: “Authenticity.”

The idea that a dish is somehow invalid for not conforming to some specific standard drives me crazy, at least when it’s not recognized that it’s just a semantic argument, one about terminology, not value. A ratatouille by any other name…

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Ratatouille (or Tian of Vegetables, as it is also known) is the very fancy-sounding name for a very rustic Provencal dish. It is, in essence, a bunch of summer vegetables stewed together in the oven.

Ratatouille is a great dish for entertaining because it can be prepared ahead of time in vast quantities and simply slapped in the oven when your guests arrive or it can even be cooked in advance and served at room temperature. Sitting for a day actually concentrates the flavors and improves the ratatouille, and you can drink wine and hang out at your party instead of sweating in the kitchen while your friends eat all your cheese.

So go make some ratatouille, and stay tuned for a pretty clever plan for some of the leftovers, if I do say so myself, and I do. Recipe after the jump.

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