Julia Child’s Ratatouille
Recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume 1 by Julia Child, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle
I am really excited to post this recipe, for lots of reasons. Those reasons are because the stand will have eggplant AND zucchini, Julia Child is a major hero of mine and because I came across my old war torn copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I started to go through the book and it brought back lots of memories of lots of past dinners that I’ve made for lots of people. This recipe was the first “vegetarian meal” that I ever prepared for a very dear old friend. He loved it!
1 lb. eggplant
1 lb. zucchini
1 tsp. salt
4-6 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1/2 lb. (about 1 1/2 cups) thinly sliced yellow onions
2 sliced red or green peppers (about 1 cup)
2 cloves mashed garlic
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 lb. firm, ripe, red tomatoes, peeled, seeded and juiced
3 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
Peel the eggplant and cut into lengthwise slices 3/8″ think, about 3″ long and 1″ wide. Scrub the zucchini, slice off the two ends and cut into slices about the same size as the eggplant. Place the vegetables in a bowl and toss with 1 tsp. salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Drain and dry each slice in a towel.
One layer at a time, sauté the eggplant and then the zucchini in 4 Tbsp. hot olive oil in a 10-12″ skillet for about a minute on each side to brown very lightly. Remove to a side dish.
In the same skillet, cook the onions and peppers (add an additional 2 Tbsp. of olive oil if needed) for about 10 minutes, until tender but not browned. Stir in the garlic and season with salt & pepper to taste.
Slice tomato pulp into 3/8″ strips. Lay them over the onions and peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and cook over low heat for 5 minutes or until tomatoes have begun to render their juice. Uncover, taste the tomatoes with the juices, raise heat and boil for several minutes until juice has almost entirely evaporated.
Place a third of the tomato mixture in the bottom of a 2 1/2 quart casserole (about 2 1/2″ deep). Sprinkle 1 Tbsp. fresh, minced parsley over tomatoes. Arrange half of the eggplant and zucchini on top, then half the remaining tomatoes and parsley. Put in the rest of the eggplant and zucchini and finish with the remaining tomatoes and parsley.
Cover the casserole and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Uncover, tip the casserole and baste with the rendered juices. Correct seasoning if necessary. Raise heat slightly and cook uncovered about 15 minutes more, basting several times, until juices have evaporated leaving a spoonful or two of flavored olive oil. Be careful of your heat; do not let the vegetables scorch in the bottom of the casserole!. Serves 6-8.