Comfort Food

I think of ratatouille as a summer dish, when vegetables like tomatoes and eggplant and peppers are at their best. But our Met Market still has pretty good heirloom tomatoes, the eggplant looked wonderful, and everything else — onions, mushrooms, yellow and orange peppers, zucchini — looked good enough. Oh, and I add a sliced sweet potato to the mix, to make it a winter recipe. I usually have cooked ratatouille on top of the stove, but this fall came upon a preparation that relies on baking. The layers of vegetables are intermixed with grated parmesan cheese, and the dish comes out bubbly, delicious, filling, nourishing, and reasonable in terms of calories.

Can add good bread, a glass of chilled white, and it’s practically gourmet.

4 thoughts on “Comfort Food

  1. for Phyllis: I used to use a Moosewood recipe, which called for tomato juice and tomato paste and was a lot more tomato-ey. This recipe uses the juices from the vegetables for moisture, although you can add a splash of white wine and that works nicely too. I not only sautee the onion and eggplant, but then put a little water in the pan to cook it really soft, which is how I like eggplant, before adding to baking dish. And if you add a sweet potato, slice really thin or parboil or bake a long time so the potato softens.This really is a delicious dish, and I think it would work with Art’s healthy diet too. I think the key is good tomatoes. I have no idea where Met Market is getting heirlooms at this time of year, but they were juicy and flavorful. Sometimes winter tomatoes have no flavor at all.

  2. From mid-summer to late fall I got wonderful New Jersey tomatoes from a farm market near Brookgreen, shipped in several times weekly. Recently they have some from Florida. I’ll try them to see if they are better than the super market tomatoes. Thanks for the tips on this recipe.

  3. for Phyllis: I wonder if our heirlooms are coming from Florida? I hate the winter tomatoes that look red and tasty but are like cardboard.

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