I couldn't let summer go by without making ratatouille, with everything coming from the garden or the Fargo-Moorhead farmer's market. It was hot and humid when when I made this earlier in the week, so I fired up the grill instead of using the oven.
I can't do a ratatouille post without giving props to the movie, which is not only a great food movie, but one of my favorite films from the past few years. If you want to see a beautiful tribute to the Ratatouille version of the classic dish from Provence, check out this post from A simple kind of life from a few months back. My ratatouille on the grill isn't nearly as elegant, but still tastes great.
The idea for ratatouille on the grill comes from a "campfire ratatouille" recipe in American Wholefoods Cuisine, by Nikki and David Goldbeck. It's a massive collection of vegetarian recipes, published in the early 80s, and back in print. It was the first vegetarian cookbook I really got into when I found it on some friends' bookshelf years ago.
This contains all the ratatouille regulars, with eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, and red onions. It's all tossed in a cast iron pan with lots of extra virgin olive oil, a little white wine, salt and pepper, and dried oregano and thyme. I added fresh basil and flat leaf parsley towards the end. This was on the grill for around a half hour - I let it cook down to something that resembled a chunky pasta sauce, and used it with rice and pasta for the next few days.
This next dish isn't the prettiest thing I've ever made, but was great comfort food. Wasabi powder and fresh grated ginger are mixed in with the mashed potatoes...great as long as you don't go overboard with the wasabi. On the left is Miso Mushroom Ambrosia, from Lynne Rosetto Kasper's How to Cook Supper. I'm kind of obsessive about listening to The Splendid Table on NPR every weekend, and found her new book at the library. I might need to buy this one - a great mix of recipes, commentary, and passion for good food, just like the show. I added tofu to the miso mushroom recipe for a little protein. Topped with fresh chives, it was a nice mix of meat-and-potatoes comfort food with some lively East Asian character.