I like ratatouille, the classic French stew whose origin goes back to the late 18th century. Yet, of all the recipes out there, I prefer the more modern incarnation, Ratatouille Niçoise. This rendition hails from Nice, and is very popular in the Riviera, where it is served hot or cold. Let me add that it contains garlic, which I love (in the Rivera family we never had to worry abut vampires). That being said, add garlic according to preference and social interaction.
With a loaf of crusty bread, and a fruit-rich Cabernet either from California or France, and you can’t go wrong.
1/3 cup olive oil
2 or more cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 onion, peeled and sliced
2 zucchini, rinsed, scrubbed and sliced
1 eggplant, peeled and cubed
1 green and 1 red pepper (or 2 green peppers), seeded and cut into strips
1 pound 4-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes, drained and choppped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tablespoon capers
1. Heat olive oil in large skillet or fry pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent.
2. Dust the zucchini and eggplant lightly with flour. Add to the skillet, along with the peppers, cover and cook slowly over medium-low heat about 1 hour.
3. Add tomatoes, bring to boil, lower heat and simmer until the mixture is thick. Season with salt and pepper. Add capers during last 15 minutes of cooking. Serve hot or cold.
Yield: 4 servings.