Every week we take a peek inside the lunches of the luckiest kids in Brooklyn. Read on, suppress your jealousy, and get a little brown bag inspiration.
My favorite lunches are when I can cobble together a few leftovers in a way that feels right and fresh and like it was meant to be. This weekend, I had the last of summer's bounty -- zucchini, eggplant, corn, and peppers -- jammed in my fridge, and they needed a way out. This is why ratatouille was invented.
Shop the Story
I'm a rebellious ratatouille cook because I can never follow a recipe. My approach is to find the best way to extract the most moisture from each vegetable and to get it to relax without turning to total mush. With the eggplant, I sliced and salted it, then roasted and chopped it. For the peppers, I cut them into large chunks and sauteed them in a deep pot over high heat in lots of olive oil and garlic. I blanched the corn and cut it from its cobs (yes, corn is untraditional but it was in the fridge and needed a home). And with the zucchini, I grated it and salted it, then squeezed it dry and stirred it into the hot ratatouille. I rarely cook the ingredients in one pot; rather, I prepare them separately and fold them together at the end.
On top of the leftover ratatouille was this leftover Spanish Tortilla, a recipe that, as you'll see from the comments, people feel very passionate about.
And for dessert, a lemon tart from one of my books -- a dinner party leftover.
What's in your lunch today? See some of the twins' past lunches.
Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.