Friday, October 8, 2010

Ratatouille-Stuffed Aubergines

Ok, I admit it's a little pretentious of me to be calling eggplants by their otherwise French/British English name, seeing as how I'm blogging from the US. But, what can I say? I love that word! And since 'ratatouille' already had me on the turf of the ancient Gauls...why not?

I thought I might as well use the three wee eggplants that graced my garden this year; late-bloomers that they were, they weren't going to get any bigger from here on in. So, I whipped up some hummus, topped it with a bit of harissa, and served it with some ratatouille-filled mini eggplants. It got a bit messy, but it was a colorful feast of the eyes.

The harissa was a treat that my neighbor presented me for watering her houseplants while she was away.  I had never had it before, and while it's bit on the salty side (this particular jar is anyway) we enjoyed the deep, peppery tang of it.

Also, if you haven't already, don't forget to sign up for VeganMofo IV. It really is a lot of fun and a great way to discover cool blogs from all over the globe. 

Speaking of vegan coolness (or should I say "ghoulness"), if you haven't yet, I have to recommend you check out Manifest Vegan's seasonal take on chips and guacamole, cuz it is really is way too cute. 

Happy Thanksgiving weekend Canada!


  1. I bet eating that did get messy, but what a beautiful presentation to start with! That's a lot of goodness on one plate. I have a Moroccan soup recipe that calls for harissa, but I always omit it and have never had any.

  2. What a beautiful plate of food. Your presentations are always so beautiful! If I made a dish like that, I don't think I would be able to eat it. :o) Looks like some mighty tasty food that's for sure!

  3. How fancy smancy! Very pretty colors miss :)

  4. See, Rose, since the last time when you edumacated me on aubergines, I already knew what they were! I feel so schmart! :-)

  5. Aubergine is an eggplant? Now all I have to do is learn to say it and I'm in the game.

  6. hey there. wasnt vegan mofo in october last year? am i just being slow? lol.

    this is plated so beautifully! thats so fun it came right out of your garden.

  7. Rose, your photographs are increasingly stupendous. I just love how you set everything up as a still life. This looks healthy and tasty too!

  8. I have to chime in with my agreement that your presentation and photos are just brilliant! You make everything look so beautiful and delicious (probably because it IS delicious, but that doesn't always come across in food photos! You really have a knack!)

    I don't think using the word aubergine is pretentious at all. It's a much prettier word than eggplant, and such a pretty veggie deserves to be called by a pretty name. (I have a friend who lives in the south of France - the lucky dog - who calls me Sis Croissant while I call her... why, Sis Aubergine, of course!) :-)

    I'm looking forward to Vegan MoFo, though just as a spectator. So many great vegan blogs, so much great vegan food, so little time!

    Thanks for the link to Manifest Vegan's ghost chips and guac ~ I always make our chips by baking organic tortilla pieces, but have always cut mine into boring triangles. I never thought of using cookie cutters for fun shapes, what a great idea! Her ghosts are just adorable! Mary McDougall suggests making guac with broccoli ("broccomole!") and just a little bit of avocado, but I have yet to try it. I really must!

    Thanks for another beautiful, mouth-watering, informative and fun post, Rose! Have a great weekend! xoxo

  9. I agree with Zoa — great picture. I love the purple cloth. The aubergines look colorific and delicious, and I assume the filling is made with courgettes! :D

  10. LOL... Andrea's comment reminds me that "courgettes" is a food word I just learned recently. Kept seeing it on blogs everywhere... "courgettes" this and "courgettes" that, and I had no clue what people were talking about till I looked it up!

  11. Jessica
    I'd be interested in that soup recipe; I'll have to find ways to use the rest. :)

    Thanks, but you should have seen it a few minutes after we tucked longer looked "too good to eat" :D

    Hey Carissa, good to hear from you!

    BlessedMama you have to edumacate me on the word in Russian! :)

    Good Luck Duck
    Don't worry, we'll let you in the game no matter what. :D

    You're right, it was in October last year and the year before...I think the very first year it was in November, so they're returning to that, I guess.
    Only the eggplant and the tomatoes were from the garden though.

  12. Zoa
    Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving to you! :)

    Thanks! The cloth is really a T-shirt, but hey, whatever works right? You got it: the filling was courgette, leek, peppers, tomato, and the scooped out middles of the aubergines:)

    I think aubergine is a beautiful word is courgette, hence my fondness for them. And what a lovely nickname it makes too! ...You have a friend who lives in the south of France? That sounds like a good friend to visit!

    The mofo is a lot of fun...last year I posted everyday, but I don't think the "rules" stipulate that, I think we're supposed to aim for 20 posts for the month, which is what I'll be trying for...hey, if I don't make it, I'm sure the "Mofo Police" will be gentle with me. :D

    I agree Manifest Vegan's idea is brilliant...adds a bit of whimsy to chip eating, which is sometimes welcome. I was really surprised she put broccoli in the guacamole...but it does sound so good...bring on the Broccomole I say!

    You have a good weekend too! Hopefully the kids will have a lot of homework, and have to stay indoors for most of it...keeping fingers crossed.


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  14. (Oops, had to repost - forgot the link to the Broccomole recipe!)

    Hi, Rose!

    Oui, mon amie, Sis Aubergine lives in Le Cannet (just outside Cannes) in a gorgeous apartment, and I've been invited... I honestly need to go, I'm an idiot if I don't!

    If you do 20 posts for Vegan MoFo, what a treat x 20 that would be for the rest of us! Though last time I sat on the sidelines, I did more food-related posts than usual. Maybe I'll do that again.

    Here's Mary McDougall's version of Broccomole... since it uses the stems rather than the florets, it could make a good companion recipe to Manifest Vegan's recipe... in case anyone needed to a) use a lot of broccoli or b) make a lot of guac!

    It's been a cozy, rainy day (at last!) keeping everyone inside most of the time. Us included! Thanks for your crossed fingers, and for sending some Autumnal weather thoughts our way! :-)


    PS - My Captcha word just now is "imello!" It fits today! :-)

  15. I see so many colors! Did I drop acid and forget about it?

    Absolutely unreal picture -- and that most of it is from your very own garden makes it even more impressive! My all-time favorite pic is still the Potato Soup with the baby Thyme flowers, but this one is up there. I hope you're keeping these photos together in some sort of portfolio.

  16. Laurie

    Yaay for the fall weather! It's a rainy day here too...I'm going to spend most of it listening to the rain through the kitchen window and doing some cooking. I'll be thinking of you guys being cozy too!

    The Broccomole recipe sounds great...I'm going to try would be fun to do one version with the stems and the other, like you said w/ the avocado and the florets. I've also seen versions of it using peas or edamame...we could have a guac-a-rama fest with all different variations. I also liked the idea of those squash fries at the top of the link you posted.

    I hope you do post some food-related stuff in honor of the mofo...a great way to show off some of those healthy and yummy recipes.

    Here's to a cozy autumn day! And to possible future trips to France!


  17. Shen
    Hey, happy Saturday! I remember you especially liked that potato stew pic. I know I've said it before, I really do appreciate all your feedback. I know some people set up flickr accounts, maybe I should look into it. I've never been too interested in taking photos (until I decided to try a little harder for the old blog)...and know precious little other than natural light makes a hugh difference.

    Actually, only the eggplant and the tomatoes (and a few of the green peppers) where from the garden, the rest are from the store.

    Happy Weekend. Enjoy!

  18. Hey, Rose!

    Today is supposed to be sunny, but at least a more temperate 75º than the record-breaking heat we were experiencing before, which has moved to the midwest. Today is good weather for hauling hay (which we have to do this afternoon!)

    I'm always up for a guac-fest! :-) I've made the green pea version a couple of times, but no matter how many spices I add, it always tastes like mashed peas! It's very pretty, but doesn't taste like guac. Wonder if anyone else has had this experience?

    I hope you enjoy either another cozy day whipping up awesome culinary creations or curled up with a good book ~ or a beautifully sparkling sunshiney day in the garden (or wherever!)

    What day will you get the word about Lucky? Fingers crossed he's cleared for take-off! :-)

    Gros bisous (Sis Aubergine taught me that sign off a long time ago!) :-)

  19. Hi Laurie,

    More hay hauling? Sounds like a fun way to spend a sunny day in ideal temps.

    I've never tried the pea version of the guac...I've read about it on other blogs...I imagine it would taste like peas; they really are pretty strong in flavor, so would probably over power any more subtle flavors. I wonder if edamame would turn out a little mellower? Or, what about putting some artichoke in? Ok, we have a lot of experimenting to do. As it is, I have avocados on hand, because Harriet has a swollen tongue (probably a tumor) and I have to feed her high-calorie soft food...avocado, coconut milk, and almond paste is a winning combo; she loves it. It is really good, and would make a good dessert I think.

    It's another cozy day here...I'm going to try my hand at a vegan pot roast from Jo Stepaniak's Vegan Vittles's been on my shelf for years, and I've rarely used it.

    Thanks for all your well wishes and good thoughts...still no word on Lucky, but hopefully this week.

    Je t'embrasse, et bonne journée.

  20. Btw, how did your Vegan Vittles pot roast turn out? (Or will be read all about it during Vegan MoFo?) :-)

  21. Laurie,

    It turned out pretty good...I may post about it. If you don't have that book and want to give it a try, I could send you the recipe. It's neat, because you make the gravy by pureeing the veggie broth it all cooks in...and it comes out thick and savory.

  22. I'd love the recipe, Rose! I have Joanne's Vegan Sourcebook and Nutritional Yeast cookbook, but not Vegan Vittles. Looking forward to your possible post about it!

  23. Shame on me, I just blew right by the rest of your reply! I must have been hungry, because your remark about the pot roast eclipsed everything else!

    Poor Harriet! I hope it's not a tumor and that her tongue gets better!

    Hmm... edamame is an interesting idea instead of peas. And I wouldn't have thought of artichoke. I've never cooked an artichoke... just eaten the artichoke hearts in brine. Pathetic, I know! Anyway, I like your idea about experimenting! :-)

    Yes, more hay hauling. We always get one truck load of second (or third) cutting alfalfa mix, which is always ready later, though usually not THIS much later. The cooler temps did make for a nice day for it, though. I took the dogs for a fun romp while BW and Kathy loaded the bales off the stack. Their ranch is out near the Montana border in the back of beyond. Sure is peaceful there!

    Keeping fingers crossed for Lucky...

  24. Such a beautiful presentation -- same with the squash below -- what a great idea!


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