Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Little Vegetarian Dinner

So I'm dating a vegetarian. Yes, it grinds my gears. As a meat enthusiast, I'm relearning everything I know about food. Apparently you don't need several kinds of unethically raised animal flesh on the table to call it dinner. I've even tried to cut back on my own meat in-take, insert obvious sexual puns here. Maybe I'm using the wrong search engine but I can't seem to find a vegetarian cooking blog that doesn't piss me off. I'm a purist when it comes to food, well, as purist as any GMO-slurping, urban-dwelling, American can be. I'm leery about using "faux" meat. If it's not meat and it's not dairy, what the hell is it? You can eat all the tofu you want, but I don't care for it. When cooking for my vegetarian I'm just gonna stick to vegetables and grains for now. At least he isn't vegan. Hail seitan! 

Je m'appelle Ratatouille!

Nope, I haven't seen the movie but I've heard great things. I'll usually watch anything concerning epicurious rodents, but for some reason I've missed this one. Typically this dish calls for eggplant. I'm not crazy about eggplant, I can't quite define why, but something about it rubs me the wrong way. I replaced eggplant with heirloom tomato slices and it was excellent. I love buying new kitchen stuff and since this recipe calls for paper thin slices of veggies, I finally invested in a good kitchen knife. This was ridiculously easy and the leftovers were easily repurposed into omelets the next morning. 

you will need the following: 

1/2 onion (minced)
2 garlic cloves (sliced thin)
1 c tomato puree (or sauce)
2 tbsp olive oil 
1 zucchini (sliced thin)
1 yellow squash (sliced thin)
1 red bell pepper (sliced thin)
1 heirloom tomato (sliced thin)
Fresh thyme 
Salt & pepper
Goat cheese (optional)

Step 1: Oven to 375. Pour tomato puree into an ovular dish, unless you don't have one. In which case use a pie dish. Mix sauce with chopped onion, garlic slices and 1 tbsp olive oil. Season to taste. 

Step 2: Arrange thin sliced veggies in a circular pattern. 

Step 3: Top veggies with fresh thyme and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. This part sucks, but try to cut a circle of parchment paper that will fit inside the dish and cover your veggies. I'm really not sure why this is important but the cookbook said it was. 

Step 4: Bake 45 minutes. Prepare a bed of polenta (or any other grain you like) for the ratatouille. 

Top with goat cheese and serve immediately. 

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