April 14, 2020 • Recipes, Summer, Vegetarian

“Mom, can you make me ratatouille? Just like this?” she says, shoving a phone in my face with a cartoon picture of plated food.

“Um. Yeah. I can do that.”

“Really?!” She’s beaming now. A welcome smile and infectious enthusiasm during COVID-19.

Why the hell not, I think to myself. It’s prep-heavy and fussy, but we’re trapped here under quarantine. I’ve lost track of the days. I pull out my phone and drop a slender eggplant into my virtual shopping cart – yet another reminder of how the world has changed.

“But you might not like it,” I caution, knowing full well she won’t like it. “It’s a plate of cooked vegetables.”

“Pleeeeeease?” I knew she wouldn’t relent.

I made a variation of this recipe. I simplified the sauce and herb mixture based on what I had on hand.

She thought it was beautiful and perfectly plated, “Just like the movie.” She also thought it smelled good. She tried each of the four vegetables, declaring the yellow squash to be her favorite. Then, the pushed the plate away and was done. Meanwhile, two adults demolished the entire dish in one sitting, finished with drizzles of good, sweet balsamic.