Spring is very shy this year in NYC; it comes and goes. One day is 70F the next 25F with chilling winds. I can’t figure out what to wear anymore. I already swapped my wardrobe for the Spring one and have no boots or warm jackets in my closet. Maybe Spring is punishing me to my limits because I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions this year. To make up for it I will try to make some Spring resolutions come true: to lose some weight, climb new mountains, and discover new friends. There will be some wonderful work to share and even more to achieve.
To start with the easiest task let’s shed a few pounds first. The quick way to do it is to move more and eat less. I don’t have any super diets up my sleeve for you. It’s just hard work and clean eating. A great way for me to achieve this is to move to a vegetable- fruit diet. I tried this simple but luscious light recipe this year when I was visiting my Aunt in France. And what’s more French than Ratatouille.
The history of my family ending up in France is pretty amazing and worth mentioning. My maternal Grandfather had a sister who volunteered to go to the work camp for him during World War II. After the war, despite many years of searching, she seemed to have disappeared. My family was convinced she died in the camp and eventually stopped looking for her. They moved from Ukraine to the Western part of Poland. At one point, my Mom heard a radio announcement that someone was looking for a family and mentioned our name, but she ignored it thinking it was someone else. Years after the war my Uncle started to look again for her, and this time he got lucky going through Red Cross files. After 45 years she came and visited us in Poland. She had survived the camp, met her husband who was also a camp survivor and settled down in France. She had 8 kids, who are all married with their own children. You can only imagine the tears, hugs, and long hours of stories to catch up on after all that time they missed together. I have visited them many times in France and they have been in our life ever since. My Aunt passed away recently in the age of 90. She outlived all her siblings and was in good health until one day, she went to sleep and just never woke up.
She showed me this recipe along with many others. She introduced me to melons, avocado, and crabs. My love for coffee and wine started with my French family. You will be missed my dear Aunt.
1 large eggplant peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion chopped
2 medium zucchinis cut into 1 inch pieces
4 garlic cloves chopped
2 pounds grape tomatoes split in half
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs chopped fresh thyme
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
2 tbs chopped fresh parsley
In a colander, sprinkle the eggplant with salt and toss. Let stand for 1 hour. Transfer the eggplant to paper towels and pat dry.
In a bowl toast eggplant with olive oil thyme and roast until soft and golden.
Repeat the process with the zucchini and the garlic, tomatoes with onions using 2 tablespoons of oil to cook each batch.
Combine all the vegetables, stir in the basil and the parsley , salt and peper to taste and serve.
The ratatouille can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.