Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Frantic Food: Oven Roasted Rattatouille with Herbs de Provence

I positively ADORE autumn.
Normally, October is the time of year when I take stock of my life, get organized, and settle into the idea that winter is approaching. I make soup, take time to watch the leaves fall, and reminisce about autumns past. I don't even mind the fact that I have to put on a sweater -- the crisp air is somehow part of the experience. We take leisurely strolls through the woods, pick apples at the orchard, and spend our weekends clipping spent blooms and cleaning up the gardens.

NOT this year. October has been a BLUR.
So far, we've been out of town almost every weekend so far this month; when we're home, our weeknights have been flooded with late meetings and work events. On top of everything, my dear baby brother is getting married on Saturday -- so we have been enrapt in all the necessary pre-nuptual activities.

Needless to say, our cooking has suffered. And our blogging?... well, you've seen the blogging.
We were lucky that the Daring Cooks challenge was announced a month ahead of time so that we could make time to get that done at the end of September. Most other nights, we're throwing things together in a whirlwind. Eating leftovers from the freezer. Sticking to the standards. And trying to prevent our already curvaceous figures from becoming downright corpulent.

Thank goodness for the farmer's market!
It's been a few weeks already -- but one of the best dishes we've managed to scrounge up was a gorgeous roasted rattatouille. Delicious. Nutritious. And perfect not-so-frantic food for a fairly frantic weeknight. Fairy tale eggplant, ripe zucchini, cherry tomatoes... Delectable.
We chopped everything and coated it in a liberal wash of olive oil. In the spirit of ease, I also tossed in a small handful of my very favorite all-purpose seasoning, Herbs de Provence.

When it was all mixed, I tossed it into a fairly toasty oven (425ยบ if my memory doesn't fail me) and let everything roast up until it was perfectly tender. In the meantime, I sauteed an onion until it was nice and caramelized (truth was, I forgot to throw it in with the other ingredients).
When everything was cooked, I stirred it all together and scooped it into bowls. A chunk of crusty bread, and we were all set.

Have I shared with you that roasted veggies are just about my favorite thing in the world? Seems there's nothing better than a load of colorful produce that's been cooked until it's all caramelized and sweet. An ordinary zucchini takes on serious personality when it's kept the company of an ultra-sweet cherry tomato in the blaze of a hot oven. And you'd never accuse roasted eggplant of being slimey -- oh, no! It wouldn't win any beauty contests, but its flesh is positively silky and so very sweet... eggplant haters wouldn't recognize it if they didn't know better.

But, I digress. I've got to think of something quick to make for dinner.

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  1. Your veggies are the bomb! I've been on the go for the last 4 weeks too... Is it contagious?

  2. I always tell anyone who hates vegetables to either roast them or grill them. They'll never hate veggies again. Your description had my mouth watering.

    As for Autumn... I would enjoy it if we actually got one this year!

  3. I made Julia Child's recipe for ratatouille, once around her bithday, then again when I had a huge amount of veg to use up late in the season... It is delicious, and addicting! Good thing it's healthful too. If Disney's animated rodent could only inspire a generation of actual eaters, their film will have succeeded!

    I'll second Amy above about the brevity of autumn this year- I think that is what is making us all so busy!

  4. For such a crazy week, you are doing pretty well food wise. Love that rattatoille! Great way to feed folks when everything is hectic, Something simple and delicious. Good job!

    Congrats on the family wedding. Maybe, we will get lucky and you will blog this special event to showcase the food :-)

  5. I know how you feel. I had a busy summer and thought the fall would bring some tranquility and this fall has been nothign of the sort. Right now I'm up to my ears in organizing a surprise 50th birthday party for my hubby on Saturday (shhh...don't tell him).

    I like the idea of a roasted ratatouille. I've always disliked pots of stewed mushy veggies and as someone who still sometimes isn't over the childhood vegetable dislike, I have to really find ways to make the good stuff palatable. When I discovered roasting, a whole world opened up to me. But I always said this was the blog that makes people actually enjoy eating their vegetables!

    Hope all goes well with the family wedding!

  6. So beautiful. We love roasted veggies too. I roasted some cauliflower last night and the family loved it.

  7. The eggplant may not win any beauty contests, but that zucchini looks amazing.

  8. Simple and delicious! What could be a better side dish for a weekend night dinner? Many thanks...

  9. It seems like fall is just a blur for us too so simple throw in the oven recipes are the best.

  10. I love the photos of the fresh produce. I know what you mean about October just being a blur, between weddings and people talking about the forth coming holidays, I feel like I've barely been able to enjoy October!

    This was such a beautiful dish. Thanks for sharing!

  11. This looks amazing, I mean wowzer, not to mention it's one of my favorite movies!

  12. Made ratatouille before and we love it. You did an amazing job.

    P.S.: we have to press 'post comment' twice in order to comment.

  13. Autumn is my absolute favorite season. The leaves change color and the food is AWESOME!! What a great recipe!

  14. I've been making roasted ratatouille for the past couple of weeks. You beat me to the recipe! I used to saute the vegetables, but they come out just fine mixed together and roasted.


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