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Ratatouille with Fairy Tale Eggplant

Ratatouille with Fairy Tale Eggplant

If you’ve read much Chewing the Fat lately, you may remember David Falkowski, our local “Mushroom Man”, who supplies us with wonderfully fresh and dried mushrooms at our local Farmer’s Markets. A couple of weeks ago, while we were at the Saturday morning market in Sag Harbor, we were visiting David’s table and there we saw some tiny little eggplants about 2 or 3 inches long.  David told us they were Fairy Tale eggplants.  He said customers were coming back weekly to buy more so he knew he had a hit on his hands.  The next thing we knew, there they were in New York magazine’s August 2nd Food section being extolled for their lack of both major seeds and any bitterness associated with their larger cousins.  We hustled home with ours and decided to make them the basis for the best ratatouille we’d ever tasted. 

        It’s a riff on Tyler Florence’s Ultimate Ratatouille.  The Fairy Tale eggplants took the place of regular eggplant and we also added yellow summer squash to his zucchini and, rather that stick to Tyler’s call for red cherry tomatoes, added some tiny yellow and orange tomatoes.  We stuck fairly close to his seasonings.  Among them are minced anchovies.  Now, we’ve discussed anchovies before and once again, I urge you to get over any doubts you have about these tiny and highly flavored little fish.  The basic fact is that once they are minced and join up with garlic and onions, they are unrecognizable.  They have no apparent relation those pesky little hairy things that you may or may not want on top of your Caesar Salad.  Instead, they bring tremendous flavor to this gorgeous dish.  
Now Tyler’s recipe is for 4 servings.  I don’t think that makes a lot of sense.  Ratatouille is one of the great joys of summer.  Having some in the fridge does make a lot of sense.   It’s a perfect summer lunch, a salad in its own dressing.  So I doubled his recipe.  And boy is it good!  One more thing:  You can certainly substitute regular eggplant, Japanese eggplant, whatever eggplant appeals to you if you not fortunate enough to have David Falkowski at your Farmer’s Market.  Here’s the recipe. 

5 thoughts on “Ratatouille with Fairy Tale Eggplant”

  • I love these eggplants and am actually growing them on my roof. This recipe looks delicious and I will try it the next time my crop is ready. In the past I have cut them in half and roasted them in the oven with garlic cloves. They are so so good!

  • First of all, Beth, how wonderful that you have a vegetable garden on your roof! Only in New York!
    Sunny, I used dried Japones chiles. Mina, I can't wait to make curry with these. Thanks all! Anonymous, you'll have to say who you are so I know when you come to visit…although I think I know!

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