This week’s Cook the Book Fridays recipe from David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen was one I’ve made many, many times before (in various iterations), including as a first meal when I arrived in Australia last week after a very long flight (NOT the version above!). It’s a French classic (so yes, there’s one in my book…). David tells the story of how this dish (and the recipe) was featured in a series of stamps from La Poste featuring regional cuisine and those of you who are familiar with the film Ratatouille (a fave of mine and my students!) will recognise it.
The Ratatouille version of the dish is actually a form of a tian – where the vegetables are sliced thinly, cooked and served in an elegant stack (“tian” is not just a name for this baked vegetable stew but also the dish it’s cooked in? Traditionally, it means a shallow earthenware casserole dish). This beautiful presentation was created by Chef Thomas Keller (of The French Laundry and other restaurants). David’s “Baked Provençal Vegetables” version is a little easier to assemble than that one but once you’ve presented your ratatouille in this form, you may be inspired to serve them in a stack too!
David’s version involves pre-cooking the onion and garlic which I didn’t do (I never do, sorry David!) – I simply scattered those ingredients on the bottom of the dish. His recipe also calls for sprinkling cheese on top of the vegetables halfway through cooking which, again, I didn’t do. I like to let the flavours of this dish shine on their own (and I honestly don’t think they need anything more) and since I’m often serving it as a room temperature salad with other items (like, you know, bread and cheese), it’s fine as is.
A classic and a fave!
Get the recipe for David Lebovitz’s Baked Provençal Vegetables on p 226 of My Paris Kitchen.
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Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of “My Paris Kitchen” for review purposes. I was not asked to write about the book, nor am I being compensated for doing so. All opinions 100% my own.