I have noticed that, since my sons saw the new Pixar movie “Ratatouille,” they have had a heightened interest in cooking and are eating more vegetables. (And more meat, too, since my oldest son at home is working in the meat department at our local grocery store and buys and brings home marked down steaks at the end of the day.) Perhaps that scene of the rats in the pantry and the “yuck factor” involved has inspired them. Whatever the reason, I decided to create my own verson of ratatouille since country vegetable stands and farmers’ markets are bursting with fresh ingredients. My favorite seen of the movie, by the way, is when the food critic takes the first bite of the ratatouille and it takes him back to his childhood and his mom’s dinner table. Priceless.
minced garlic, generous amount
sliced zucchini and yellow squash
thinly sliced Bermuda onion rings
sliced red and green bell peppers
coarse salt, freshly ground pepper
On fairly high heat, saute all vegetables in olive oil, allowing them to remain a little crisp but nicely browned. Season well with coarse salt and pepper. Serve over rice. We like this as a side to grilled chicken. Traditional ratatouille is made with egg plant and lots of tomatoes. Since none of us like cooked tomatoes very well, I slice a fresh tomato and serve on the side. Egg plant is good but optional.