Not to make anyone jealous who doesn’t have access to the same, but how can one resist all these vibrant, beautiful colors. Obviously, I couldn’t, as I grabbed all of this from the Greenmarket. While I do have quite a few recipes for cooking the vegetables individually, I had other plans for these gems.
I am also one of those people who definitely eats with her eyes first, and I am very drawn to colors. From the September issue of BBC Good Food magazine, I had pulled a ratatouille recipe to try. This must be irresistibly appealing, at least for me, because when I went into my recipe file to file it (I’m trying to be good about keeping everything organized.), I discovered that I’d pulled a similar recipe from last year’s September issue of the same magazine. There must be something that they put into their food photography to draw me in to the same recipe topic in two consecutive years.
Cooking and recipe-making can also be a bit of a research process, though, so having two descriptions of how to make the same dish isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Both of these had some helpful tips to avoid making a big pile of vegetable mush. One is to cut everything into more or less the same size. The second is to cook each component* – peppers, eggplant, zucchini – separately and then combine them at the end.
Each of the two recipes has variations on the seasoning, but I decided to stick to fresh basil, as the bunch I had was perfectly fragrant and kelly green. Putting them all together was a snap and the results were as lovely as the individual components had been.
*Kitchen Witch Tip
When I first lived in London, many, many years ago, this mini-translation lesson was given to me by my American roommate within my initial few days of moving in. It is also one of the food tips I pass on to others who plan to live there, as it saves lots of trans-Atlantic linguistic confusion about something as simple as vegetables.