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Royal Priesthood - Episode 2

 

Denise's Ratatouille

 

Ingredients:

 

1/4 cup first cold pressed olive oil, plus more as needed
1 1/2 cups yellow onion sliced length-wise
2 cups medium eggplant sliced length-wise
1 cup red bell peppers sliced length-wise
3 cups sliced zucchinis
1/4 cup Greek style black olives
8 large minced garlic cloves
2 cups sliced small tomatoes
1 teaspoon ground or whole thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice

 

Directions:

 

Set a large 12-inch sauté pan over medium heat and add a third of the olive oil (add the rest of the oil gradually throughout the cooking process as the pan’s bottom dries up).

Once the pan is hot, add the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are lightly caramelized (about 7 minutes).

Add the eggplant, stirring occasionally (about 6 minutes).

Add the red peppers, zucchini and olives (about 7 minutes).

Add the garlic to the bottom of the pan with some olive oil so that it gets golden but does not burn (30 second then stir).

Add the tomatoes, ground thyme and salt and pepper to taste.

Cook covered for an additional 15 minutes.

Finally, add the fresh lemon juice.

Denise' Ratatouille

 

Some Family History...

 

Olive oil gives a definite character to the famous dish Ratatouille. Here is the way my mother, Denise, used to make it. We are from Cannes, in Provence, and this is the land of ratatouille. With that internationally known recipe, I learned from her two great tips.

First, there is sautéing, and then there is covering the pan. Both actions bring something important which result in a very yummy result… The sautéing caramelizes the vegetables. It means that they will have that warm taste of roasted sweetness. Then, covering the pan does two things; it keeps the dish moist (I mean ultra moist). And it furthers the cooking, making the vegetables very soft to eat. Ratatouille can almost be used as a spread. That is the first lesson.

Then, one day, my mother added bell pepper. That day, she was proud of her discovery: “it makes the whole dish more unctuous”. And it was true: bell peppers exult a smooth sweet juice that makes you melt…

For me, the smell of ratatouille is the smell of summer in the evening, when the vegetables have been picked from the garden and are now getting ready for dinner. It is a convenient dish because it can be eaten hot or cold. It tastes better the next day. It can be eaten with all sorts of carbohydrates and meats. Thank you mother…


 

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