There are a few foods that sing summer to me: blackberries just off the vine, a ripe peach, the first slice of watermelon with salt and feta. And now, this grilled ratatouille means late July, early August to me.
One good thing about this dish? Most of the cooking happens on the grill. When it’s as hot as I know it is on the East Coast right now, you might not feel like doing any cooking. But if you plan ahead, grill up eggplant, yellow squash, zucchini, red peppers, and ripe tomatoes in the morning, then simmer the stew on the stove for a bit, you have dinner ready for the evening, when it’s just too hot to bother.
This stew is great on its own, over white rice or quinoa, or piled on top of slices of crusty gluten-free bread. But my favorite way to serve it now is as a grilled ratatouille tart.
I like to spread the bottom of the baked crust with a layer of goat cheese, then put the grilled ratatouille on top of the goat cheese. It’s a pretty stunning dinner, so delicious that it’s almost worth turning on the stove for a few moments in this heat.
Want to make grilled ratatouille this weekend? The recipe is on page 246 of our latest cookbook, Gluten-Free Girl Every Day. If you don’t have a copy yet, you might want to buy one!
If you do have a copy of our cookbook, would you consider putting a review on Amazon? It might help other people to find a cookbook that makes dinner time easier for them. Also, if you do make the grilled ratatouille, we’d love if you would post a photo on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, so you can entice other people to make it too.
Let’s face it. Life is more fun sometimes when you have more choices. Wait, I’m not talking about the ridiculous aisle of 85 different kinds of shampoos at the grocery store. (I’m convinced they’re all the same, put into pretty bottles.) Actually, I mean dinner is more fun when you have more choices on the table.
When we were hashing out the structure for our cookbook, Gluten-Free Girl Every Day, my brother insisted there needed to be a buffet chapter in there. His son, my most favorite nephew Elliott, was pretty picky about food back then. If Andy made dinner and set a plate in front of Elliott, he wouldn’t eat much. But, to quote our own cookbook: “If you tell him it’s Italian antipasti night, and have roasted cauliflower with salsa verde, mushrooms stuffed with mozzarella, salami, proscuitto, olives marinated with lemon zest, and a lot of little ramekins with other foods, he’ll eat well. He likes taking a little bit of each and making his own plate.”
Now that Lu is nearly 5, we know exactly what he means. Dinner at the table is sometimes a bit of a chore. Put 5 to 10 little plates on the floor of the living room, call it a picnic, and she reaches for a bite of olive, then a bit of cauliflower, then a cube of cheese. Sometimes, when we don’t sit at the table, we all eat better.
So, if you want to cook with us this weekend, let’s make the antipasti buffet! It starts on page 267 of our latest cookbook, Gluten-Free Girl Every Day. We give you the recipe for stuffed mushrooms (sun-dried tomatoes! tiny mozzarella balls! pine nuts! more!) and the roasted cauliflower with salsa verde. Buy yourself some prosciutto, some smoked mozzarella, some marcona almonds and put them out. Pickled things are very good.
And we buy olives — these are cerignolas — from our grocery store’s olive bar. At home, we rinse off the brine, which often tastes too salty and sometimes too much like chemicals. Then, we heat up some extra-virgin olive oil, a little lemon zest, some red pepper flakes, and toss in the olives. Serve them warm.
An antipasti buffet is a pretty easy dinner to make and it feels like a feast.
We’ve been waiting quite awhile to share this with you. Two years, actually. Pregnancy and childbirth go faster than conceiving, creating, and bringing a cookbook to bookstore shelves. We don’t mind, though. We love this process.…