1. –noun a vegetable stew of Provence, typically consisting of eggplant, zucchini, onions, green peppers, tomatoes, and garlic, served hot or cold.
2. –noun a 2007 computer-animated film produced by Pixar about a rat who dreams of becoming a chef and tries to achieve his goal by forming an alliance with a Parisian restaurant’s garbage boy.
In a recent discussion I ranked the film Ratatouille in my top five Pixar films. Not only because it managed to weave a perfectly crafted visual explanation for the neurological condition synesthesia into its brilliant story, but also because it combined two of my favorite things: food and film.
Two things I combine with relish. Not relish, relish, but relish. I will take any excuse, any circumstance, weekday or weekend to combine chow and cinema, food and flicks, munchies and movies. Half of the fun is making a delicious meal appear from the random ingredients I find when I open the cupboard. The other half comes from the fusion of cultures and flavors, homemade and store bought, sugar free and whole grain, etc.
But when expiration dates loom or the fridge is brimming with odds and ends, necessity motivates creativity. I’ve learned from my mom, the Leftover Queen, how to mix and match, bake, fry, and boil my way out of leftover land.
I’m hoping this blog will force me to chronicle those culinary adventures while my Netflix account provides substance for film reviews and recommendations.
Set oven to 375°
Slice eggplant, green and red bell pepper, summer squash, Vidalia onion, and tomato. Sprinkle raw vegetables with salt and pepper, parsley and basil.
Into a casserole dish add a little olive oil, garlic, rosemary and just enough tomato sauce to lightly coat the bottom. Layer the vegetables concentrically, working your way toward the inside of your dish. Finish with any additional seasonings and drizzle lightly with olive oil.
Cover loosely with tin foil and bake for around 40 mins. Take off the tin foil. If needed, top the vegetables with a little tomato sauce to keep them moist, and continue to bake until tender but still holding shape.