Wednesday, May 6, 2009

gratin of eggplant, tomato, and zucchini

I came home tonight thinking I'd make ratatouille, but after looking at a few recipes I changed course and made the Gratin of Eggplant, Tomato, and Zucchini from Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home. That's a really enjoyable cookbook, by the way. For each recipe, Julia has a column of comments and Jacques has another. They sometimes disagree, and often offer interesting bits of history. It's fun to read even without intending to cook anything.

As Jacques explains, gratin means crust. In France the English social term the upper crust is rendered le gratin. Let them eat bread crumbs!

It's a little less time-consuming to prepare than a proper ratatouille with its separate sauteeing of the vegetables. Although they share some ingredients it's a very different dish. I didn't have any herbes de Provence on hand so I had to make do with just fennel seeds, basil, and thyme, leaving out the savory and the somewhat important lavender. I didn't miss it. Instead of fresh breadcrumbs I used panko, which I thought worked just fine.

The boys both ate a large helping. Have to feel good about getting kids to enjoy squash and eggplant! I thought it was quite nice, rather rich, and would certainly prepare it again.

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