Monday, September 10, 2012

Day 891 : It's feeling quite like Fall...

You know that moment when the air changes from the summer warmth to a slightly brisk Fall chill? The light gets this rich autumnal glow, the leaves start falling off the trees and your mind wanders to cozy nights in with red wine and dark deep beers and warming ooey gooey cheese dishes? Today surely felt like the beginning of Fall here in Manhattan so in honor of this seasonal change, I thought I'd suggest one of my favorite Fall and Winter dishes -- ratatouille.

Warming and comforting yet simple and delish -- its perfect with a nice Cotes du Rhone or even an Oktoberfest beer, I quite like it with Harpoon's Octoberfest but feel free to chose your favorite seasonal brew.

What goes into our ratatouille here?

1-2 eggplant - sliced thinly
1-2 zucchini - sliced thinly
1-2 bell peppers - sliced thinly
1 clove of garlic
4-5 tomatoes
1/2 of a fennel bulb
1/2 of an onion diced up 
Bay Leaf
Dried Oregano
Sea Salt
Black Pepper
French Feta - less briny than its Greek cousins, its round and creamy and the perfect bright citrusy manner in which to cut through 

So how do you prepare everything?

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While the oven is heating up, dice up your garlic and onions and saute with EVOO in two different pans over low heat for five to seven minutes. In pan number one, toss in your eggplant, sea salt, black pepper, thyme, and oregano for five minutes and in another pan your zucchini, basil, and marjoram. I like to infuse separate flavors in each of the veggies before combining them into a baking dish. Start with layers of your eggplant on the bottom separated by a layer of tomatoes then fennel then peppers then a layer of crumbled French feta and basil leaves. Then repeat the tomatoes, followed by zucchini and then a sprinkling of your herbs and another layer of French feta and of course a drizzle of EVOO over the top. Bake in the oven for twenty to twenty five minutes or until the feta is golden brown and all of the veggies are cooked through. Enjoy folks!

Here's to a lovely Fall season!

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