Saturday, July 5, 2014

No, It's Not Just a Movie

Listen, I love that little mouse, too.  But Remy's movie isn't just a movie for kids.  It's a movie for us foodies, too.  And, ratatouille is an actual dish.  Granted, like any good chef, Remy put his own spin on it.  What you'll see in a traditional ratatouille recipe looks more like a vegetable stew with a tomato sauce.  And it's fantastic.
Map via Google Maps
Ratatouille is a dish native to Provence, particularly around Nice.  In reality though, forms of this dish can be found all the way around the Ligurian Sea to Tuscany and even south to Rome.  In Italy, essentially the same dish is called ciambotta.
Photo via Epicurious

Yes, there are definitely variations in both ingredients and in how it's served.  Generally they will both contain a combination of eggplant, peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes.  Toward the east (France), the dish is flavored with marjoram and thyme.  As you go west, there is more basil and parsley instead.  In France, the dish is a casserole or the filling in an omelet and can be served either hot or cold as a side.  In Tuscany, the dish is thicker, and generally a stew, often with potatoes and olives and sometimes even meat.  Making either ratatouille or ciambotta is fairly simple, and the ingredients are now in season!
Photo via SmittenKitchen

For those of you who, like me, have a child who is a fan of the movie, you can't get away with making the dish if it doesn't look like Remy's interpretation.  Don't worry, I've got you covered.  There are two great examples (here and here) that will make you quite the hero.

So, do you have any of those peppers left from your box?

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