„Aubergine has marvelous purple skin, lively green “hat” and pleasant shape. That’s why is one of the most beautiful vegetables on Earth”
I agree with this sentence by Julia Child in 100%. Aubergines are my beloved vegetables. You can find them in my pantry all year long. But in August there is a purple invasion in my kitchen!
My favourite are roasted ones. Roasting aubergines is a ritual. First I cut it lengthwise, next I carefully and gently cut the pulp. I don’t want to damage this shiny, purple skin. I rub some olive oil, sprinkle with za’atar or thyme. I put them in the oven and wait…. Aubergines come out changed: soft, rich and golden. No bitterness. I usually serve them this way, with almond sauce.
But in summer month aubergines need company. There are so many fresh, delicious veggies on the market. Bell pepper, the best, ripe tomatoes, zucchini. There is no other recipe to make, but classic ratatouille.
I always make it Julia Child’s way. Aubergines and zucchinis have to be salted before! Salt eliminates the bitterness and excessive water. Thanks to salting, our dish won’t be mushy.
I remember about proportions: equal quantity of aubergines, zucchinis and onions, twice as much tomatoes. Just a little bit of other veggies, to enhance the flavour.
It’s important to cook veggies separately to preserve their own flavours and shape.
Julia Child divides preparing ratatouille in three stages: salting, frying vegetables and layers. I add one more: preparing vegetables.
by Julia Child
1 small aubergine (250g)
1 small zucchini (250g)
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp olive oil*
250g onion (1½ large onion)**
1 green bell pepper (180-200g)***
2 minced garlic cloves
3 tbsp chopped parsley leaves
*or more if needed
**1½ cup sliced
*** 1 cup sliced
****1½ cup pulp (without skins and seeds)
Peel an aubergine and cut it lengthwise into 10mm slices. Cut both edges of a zucchini and cut it the same way as the aubergine. Put the slices into large bowl and sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt. Mix and set aside for 30 minutes. Drain on a paper towel.
Peel the tomatoes. The best way to peel tomatoes is putting them in boiling water for few second. Skin will come off. You can also cut the skin before it, it will be even more easy to peel. Cut out the parts with seeds from tomatoes. Cut the pulp in slices.
Slice onion and pepper.
On the frying pan heat the olive oil. Fry aubergine and zucchini until golden, both sides. Add more olive oil if needed. Put the fried slices on a plate.
On the same pan fry onions and pepper until soft (on low heat). Add garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
Add slices tomatoes on top of onions and peppers. Cover the pan with a lid. Sweat the vegetables for about 5 minutes. Take the lid off, turn the heat on and fry them until water evaporates.
Season with salt and pepper. Mix in parsley leaves.
At this stage in Julia Child’s recipe you will need a casserole dish or frying pan with a lid.
On the bottom of a pan put 1/3 of onions and tomatoes, then ½ of aubergines and zucchini. On top of it ½ of the rest of tomatoes and onions, another layer of aubergines and one again tomatoes.
Version for lazy ones: Mix all.
Cover the pan with a lid and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes. Take off the lid and cook until liquids evaporates.
Serve with rice.
protein 19,2 g; fat: 43,8 g;carbohydrates: 80 g, dietary fiber: 26g;
iron: 6,4 mg; calcium: 229 mg; zinc: 4,1 mg
protei: 5,7 g; fats: 11 g; carbohydrates: 20 g, fiber: 8 g;
iron: 1,6 mg; calcium: 57 mg; zinc: 1 mg