Although I love a good ratatouille, I've always been intimidated to prepare it. I don't cook some of the ingredients often (eggplant, zucchini), and I expected it to take a long time to cook. I wasn't expecting much from The Essential Cookbook after my disappointment with the first recipe.
I had to get many veggies to prepare this ratatouille recipe. Some, like the canned chopped tomatoes (a welcome alternative to pallid transported tomatoes) and onions were easy. I wasn't sure whether I was really selecting medium-sized eggplants, but with only a few choices, it was hard to go wrong.
It turned out that the recipe really wasn't that complicated. The veggies fit in my large heavy pot (barely). They took a long time to slowly cook,but didn't need much attention, so I was free to do other things.In the pot, this looks almost like soup. But on the plate, not so much.
With such a huge quantity, I enjoyed left-overs through much of the week. The mix of veggies in this recipe is fabulous. As left-overs, this dish is versatile. Cold, I enjoyed the mix as a salad on its own, or mixed with lettuce. A couple of times, I made chicken ratatouille - thin pan-fried chicken breasts, topped with ratatouille.
In case I don't want to keep this cookbook, I checked my other books for ratatouille recipes. However, the other recipes don't seem as appealing. None have the same combo of veggies, and a couple add capers. No, I am not a fan of capers.