Sunday, August 9, 2009

Channeling Provence: A New England Ratatouille

As the weeks go by and summer becomes late summer (and soon to be fall - yikes!), our CSA shares change with the harvest. For the first time this past week, we got eggplant in our shares. Naturally, being raised in a suburban wonderland where all pizza places bread, fry and dump marinara sauce on their eggplant, I thought of eggplant parmigiana.

I pulled out Joy of Cooking, found the eggplant section and flipped to the page for eggplant parmigiana. And right next to that recipe was the recipe for ratatouille provencale. I must admit that I did not know that ratatouille had eggplant in it. I've seen the movie but I guess I wasn't paying very close attention. I decided I should try something new and give the recipe a try. Sorry, eggplant parm.

Looking it over, it's easy to see why this is such a classic French summer dish. In addition to the eggplant, it incorporates zucchini, bell pepper, tomatoes, garlic, onions and herbs. New England seems to have this in common with Provence because I was able to find almost all the ingredients I needed at the farmer's market. This dish may be French in conception but can be wonderfully local here in Massachusetts.

There are so many versions of this recipe and as long as you respect the basic concept (layering of the summer garden flavors), you will be pleased with the results. I broke with tradition and added some soft, creamy, crumbled chevre on top. Again, more French inspiration, locally sourced!

Bon Apetit!



  1. I'd love to be a part of a csa. I wrote a grant proposal for inner city kids to be able to attend a farm camp and learned quite a bit about getting kids interested in food by gardening with them (for my MSW). Now that I have my own, I want to have a garden, or at least garden fresh veggies. Maybe next year we will have agarden in are own yard!

  2. We love eggplant AND ratatouille!

  3. Just made ratatouille tonight with my eggplant, zuhinni/summer squash, and tomatoes from the garden. It was pretty good for my first time. Never thought to use goat cheese!