Bon appetit! That was the famous teaser line by the beloved, most widely recognized female American chef who revolutionized American cuisine on her show, The French Chef. Julia Child left an indelible mark on her audience and the food world through her broadcasts on the PBS network. She taught her faithful viewers how easy and enjoyable cooking could be.
Julia Child (August 15, 1912 – August 13, 2004) was born Julia Carolyn McWillams in Pasadena, California, to John and Julia McWilliams. Julia began to study cooking in Beverly Hills, California. She married Paul Cushing Child in September 1946 who introduced her to cooking.
She decided she wanted to learn about French cooking and, after studying the language, she enrolled at the famous Cordon Bleu cooking school. With two fellow students, Simone Beck and Louisette Bertholle, she formed a cooking school called L’Ecole des Trois Gourmandes (School of the Three Gourmets). In 1963, after appearing on a television panel show, Child began a weekly half-hour cooking program called The French Chef. Her work was recognized with a Peabody Award in 1965 and an Emmy Award in 1966.
Today we are featuring a delicious recipe for Ratatouille by famed chef, Julia Child. Bon Appetit!
- Eggplant: 1 lb.
- Zucchini or summer squash: 1 lb.
- Olive oil: 4-6 Tbsp. (divided)
- Salt: 1 tsp.
- Mashed garlic: 2 cloves
- Yellow onions: About 1 1/2 cups or 1/2 lb. (thinly sliced)
- Salt & Pepper: to taste
- Green peppers: 2 (about 1 cup, sliced)
- Minced parsley: 3 Tbsp.
- Red tomatoes: 1 lb. (Make sure they are ripe, firm, seeded, peeled, and juiced!)
- Note: If you are using canned tomatoes, you will need about 1 1/2 cups.
- Peel and cut the eggplant. Make sure you cut eggplant into lengthwise slices that are about 1-inch wide, 3-inch long, and 3/8-inch thick. Scrub the summer squash and cut into pieces the same size as eggplant. Take a bowl and put the vegetables into it. Toss the vegetables with one teaspoon salt.
Set them aside for 30 minutes. Drain every slice and dry with a towel.
- Take a skillet and put four tablespoons of olive oil into it. Sauté the summer squash and eggplant, one layer at a time, for about one minute until the vegetables are slightly browned. Take them out into a dish.
- Cook pepper and onions in the same skillet. Add a couple of tablespoons of olive oil if needed. Cook the vegetables for 10 minutes until they are tender. Add the garlic and season the mixture with salt and pepper.
- Take the tomatoes and slice its pulp into 3/8-inch strips. Layer the tomatoes over pepper and onions, and season them with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and let the vegetables cook for about 5 minutes on a low heat until the tomatoes start to render their juice. Check the seasoning and raise the heat. Boil the vegetables in the tomato juice until the juice evaporates entirely.
- Take a casserole, about 2½-inch deep, and put 1/3 of the tomato mixture into it. Sprinkle the freshly minced parsley over tomatoes. Next, arrange half of the summer squash and eggplant on top. Layer the remaining tomatoes and parsley. Put the remaining summer squash and eggplant, and finish off with the rest of tomatoes and parsley.
- Cover the casserole and put it on a low heat. Let everything simmer for about 10 minutes. Check it after 10 minutes, and season it if necessary. Raise the heat a little and cook everything for 15 minutes uncovered. Cook until all the juices evaporate. Be very careful about the heat. Avoid the vegetables getting scorch at the bottom of casserole.
Take it out, and serve!
Celebrating Chef Julia Child on #FoodPornFriday during #NationalWomensHistoryMonth!