Five Ways to Serve Ratatouille, Part I

There are thousands out there. (If you do need one, try mine.) But what you may be wondering, however is how to serve it. After all, is it an appetizer, a side dish, a main course, a relish, or what? (The short answer is yes–it’s all of those things).

And then: Is ratatouille supposed to be served hot are cold. (The short answer: It’s best at room temperature or even cold. Not so good hot!).

Yesterday, the farmers’ market was overflowing with all the makings for ratatouille: sweet bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, onions, garlic, and lots of tomatoes.

I made a huge batch that I plan to serve for the next few days. Therefore, over the next five postings, I plan to show you my favorite ways to serve this Provencal specialty, including the way I enjoyed it today: as a partner to a poached egg salad.

First, however, a few words about making ratatouille. Follow the recipe, with these notations:

1. Use the best ingredients you can find. Don’t even bother to make this veggie stew if you can’t find great in-season veggies. Pictured above is yesterday’s haul from the market, including the fixings I needed.

2. Use a great olive oil. I got olive oil from Nicolas Alziari in Nice. It’s available at Williams-Sonoma, but you don’t need to use that particular oil. Just use the best one you have.

3. After you’ve made the ratatouille, refrigerate it for a day. Those flavors will really take off after some time together.

To serve? Well, you can serve it cold (it’s actually really good that way) or bring it to room temperature. I don’t particularly recommend serving it warmed–this summery dish is simply better not-hot.

I’ve served this many ways, and I’ll offer a few more ideas in coming posts. But today’s ratatouille was served with my Poached Egg Salad (it’s in the book), some herbed bruchetta, and an array of cheeses. A gorgeous lunch.

Ratatouille sharing the stage with a poached egg salad, bruschetta, and some local cheeses.

And today, I nailed the doneness of the egg….I love a cooked white and a bit of ooze from the egg itself*. That takes about 5 minutes in water at an active simmer.

Bon appétit, everyone. And of course, if you wish to share how you serve ratatouille, I’m all ears. Join the conversation on my Facebook page.

 

* Remember, the USDA says that eggs should be thoroughly cooked….so use your judgement when cooking eggs for your family and yourself. 

 

 

 

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