Monday, August 20, 2012

Farmer's Market - a photo essay + Remy's Ratatouille, the meal in the movie

Farmer's Market
A Photo Essay

As the summer of 2012 comes to a close, one of the great assets of summer will also end soon - the Farmer's Market. It is such a pleasure to buy fresh produce from these local growers, who sell their products directly to us. These markets are a visual and culinary delight to attend.

For now, enjoy the last, warm days of August and consider buying your produce from the family farmers displaying their fruits and vegetables at your local farmer's market. (Photography for Farmer's Market photo essay by Jack A. Atkinson)

The new "Arts Season" starts in September and ARTSnFOOD is ready for the excitement this new season will bring. 

Remy's Ratatouille 
The CD cover art for" Ratatouille"

Anton tastes Remy's ratatouille for the first time!
(Promotional photo 

The Pixar animated movie "Ratatouille" is a perfect fit for ARTSnFOOD and I have longed to make a ratatouille which looked, and tasted, as good as the ratatouille dish that won over Anton, the picky restaurant critic, in the animated flick.
(The movie Ratatouille is available for rent or purchase:


  • 1 med. eggplant, cut in 1/2" thick, round slices 
  • 2 zucchini, 1/4" thick, round sliced
  • 1 med. yellow onion, cut in 1/2" sliced, rounds
  • 4 firm, ripe, red tomatoes, cut in 1/2" slices 
  • 2 large red, sweet peppers, diced (stem & seeds removed) 
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic diced
  • 3 Tbsp. minced fresh basil
  • + 1 tsp. salt for eggplants
  • olive oil to saute
  • 2 eggs, beaten
     • seasoned flour - for dipping eggplant (1/4 tsp. Salt, 1/4 tsp. black Pepper, rounded 1/2 tsp. Herbs de Provence, all mixed into 1/2 cup flour)
  • Bread crumbs - for eggplant
Peel the eggplant and cut into rounds 1/2" thick.  Scrub the zucchini, slice off the two ends and cut into 1/4" slices, rounds. Place the vegetables in a pot of water with 1 tsp. salt. weigh down and let stand for 30 minutes. Drain and dry on paper towels.

One layer of the saute pan at a time, dip the eggplant in the seasoned flour, then the egg, then the bread crumbs and saute in a 10"-12" skillet, with olive oil seasoned with garlic, until browned. Remove to a side dish. Add olive oil as needed, and more garlic. When finished, remove and drain on paper towels. Wipe the pan and sauté the zucchini in oil and garlic, no breading. When soft, remove and drain on paper towels.

In the same skillet, saute the onion slices until brown and soft.- keep in solid rounds. When finished, remove and drain on paper towels. 

Saute the peppers until soft. When finished, remove and drain on paper towels.

Dice tomatoes and saute them in the same skillet no added oil. Season with salt & pepper, cover the skillet and cook over low heat for 5 minutes or until tomatoes have begun to render their juice. When cooked, remove to a bowl.

In a 9 x 12 casserole dish, build the final ratatouille stacks:
Place an eggplant round on the bottom, place a round of onion, then place a fan of zucchini on top, then a mound of peppers, top with a mound of cooked tomato. Repeat for all six (6) stacks of Ratatouille.

Place the casserole with the stacks into a preheated 350* oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, place a spatula under the stack of Ratatouille and carefully move them to the individual serving plates. 

Sprinkle the top of the ratatouille with a little salt and black pepper, plus some chopped fresh basil and pour a small amount of a vinaigrette dressing on the plate. 

Makes 6 servings. 
(Source: Original ratatouille recipe. Time consuming, but unique, delicious and a real crowd pleaser!)

Synopsis of the animated movie "Ratatouille": Remy is a rat, constantly risking his life in an expensive French restaurant, because of his love for good food and his desire to become a chef. Obviously, this is a rather long-shot of a dream for a rat. But opportunity knocks when a young boy, who desperately need to keep his job at the restaurant, despite his lack of cooking skills, discovers and partners with young Remy. It is up to the two of them to avoid the insane head chef - bring the rest of Remy's family up to his food standards - win his partner a girl and (of course) produce the finest Ratatouille in all of France!

Until later,

ARTSnFOOD, an online publication dedicated to "The Pursuit of Happiness, the Arts aNd Food."™ All rights reserved. Concept, Original Art, Text & Photographs are © Copyright 2012 Jack A. Atkinson under all International intellectual property and copyright laws. All gallery, museum, fair or festival photographs were taken with permission. Images © individual artists, fabricators, respective owners or assignees.

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