I love summer tomatoes. Funny thing is that when I was a kid, I HATED tomatoes. I didn't care where they came from or what they were in, I was NOT eating them, well, besides ketchup. Like we keep telling the boys, tastes change. We have 3 different varieties growing in our garden - San Marzano, Heirloom and Sweet 100s. We have gotten a couple of varieties from our CSA too. Needless to say, for the past couple of weeks, our counter has been a resting place for tomatoes. Fun Fact: Tomatoes should be stored on your counter vs. the refrigerator.
We have a handle on the Sweet 100s. The boys, especially C, love to help pick them. More end up in their stomach vs. the tub, but that is A-OK with me. They seriously taste like candy. It is so easy to pop a couple (okay, handful) in your mouth. With the rest of the tomatoes, I've made sauce and plan on making marinara. I may even try freezing a few whole.
When the boys heard us talking about Ratatouille, they thought we were talking about the movie. C even asked if they got the recipe from the movie. The first time I heard of Ratatouille was in college. I was working at the genetics clinic and we had an intern, Sarah, from England for the summer. She was staying with our lab director, also British. Sarah would eat lunch with us and one day she had leftover Ratatouille. I remember thinking it was so exotic and beyond my comfort zone to even think about eating something like that. Like we keep telling the boys, tastes change.
We got eggplant in our CSA box so I knew it was time for Ratatouille. It is the epitome of summer to me - tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, summer squash, and fresh herbs. Any ratatouille is going to take some time. There is a LOT of chopping. I do think this recipe goes a little faster because you puree the red peppers and the tomatoes. Again, it is a lot of work, but this is seriously the best Ratatouille I have ever had. It is totally worth the two hours of chopping, cooking and stirring. Before I go further, I have to say, sadly the boys weren't nearly as big of fans of this as Ray and I were.
This makes a huge batch - but then when you have four pounds of tomatoes as the base, two and a half pounds of zucchini/ summer squash and a pound and a half of eggplant, you have to expect it. As suggested, this is even better the next day. You will not be disappointed eating this right after it is made.