Head to the farmer’s market right now and what do you see? Piles of tomatoes, peppers, zucchini and eggplants, all shining and downright radiant.
Combine these with some onion, garlic, thyme, basil and more olive oil than legally should be allowed in a single pot and you create a sumptuous, luxurious, downright silky concoction better known as ratatouille. Sure, you could throw some black olives in there for a little extra kick. Maybe some red pepper flakes since some like it hot. But, really, why over-complicate things.
As-is, these ingredients combine together so well that it ought to be used by theologists as proof of a higher power. “Someone up there wants us to eat tasty things. Otherwise tomatoes would ripen in July, eggplants in September and zucchini in April.” A meal of ratatouille, fresh crusty bread and a little locally-made cheese (and, of course, a nice light red wine) is as divine as any manna, I’m here to tell ya. Toss a side of fresh shell beans (also in season now) sauteed in a fruity olive oil with garlic and spritzed with a little lemon and you’ll have a hard time convincing me I haven’t taken a little side trip to Heaven.
Go ahead and eat your over-processed boxed/frozen/bagged “food products.” It just leaves more of the good stuff for me.