That rat! It stole my documents!
Anyone who has known me for longer than an hour or so knows that I am quite fond of the film "Ratatouille." In fact, "Ratatouille" is hands-down my second favorite in the world (after "School of Rock") and I doubt that any movie will ever surpass it. In the words of the illustrious Billy Eichner, Ratatouille is simply "enchanting" and I make a point of watching it quite regularly.
I also make a point of cooking ratatouille every once in a while. It is a great way to get your veggies, which is something that can challenge me as a chicken strip connoisseur. There are a couple different ways to make ratatouille - I usually make it the traditional French way in a sauté pan (you can see this version of ratatouille in the movie when Anton Ego has a flashback to his youth), but it's also fun to make baked ratatouille (this is the "gourmet" version that Remy cooks for Ego in the restaurant).
Smitten Kitchen has a great tribute recipe. However, making ratatouille doesn't necessarily need a recipe, and per usual, I always put my own spin on things.
Making ratatouille is quite easy:
1. Put tomato puree, minced garlic, olive oil, and salt and pepper in the bottom of a baking dish.
2. Lay slices of zucchini, eggplant, and bell pepper in a beautiful design on top of the tomatoes. Put thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil between each layer.
3. Keep piling on the veggies until the baking dish is full. Put a piece of parchment paper on top and stick it in a 375 degree oven for 50 minutes. I haven't the foggiest idea why you put a piece of parchment on top, but I will never question a gourmet rat chef. (If you know, leave a comment!!) I also got fancy with the spices (true "Ratatouille" fans will get that reference), and used rosemary, sage, and balsamic drizzle in addition to the recommended thyme on top.
I sometimes get too excited to eat a dish to properly photograph it, so alas I don't have a photo of the finished product. However, it was very much enjoyed. Chef Gusteau would be proud.