This Summer, I was gifted with the opportunity to spend a couple of days in Bordeaux, France with the well-known French chef and cookbook author, Mimi Thorisson. The moment I stepped through the doors of 1, rue de Loudenne, I received a first-hand lesson on how to live soulfully, French style. Mimi gracefully tied herself into an apron, her inner joy, palatable, as she taught me how to make her special recipe for ratatouille. Her family dining table was a veritable still life of olive branches, silver dishes spilling of cherries, antique French linens, waxed candlesticks and a pair of adorable fox terriers en pointe under the table.
Mimi embodies that “joie de vie” of someone who appreciates the sanctity and the fullness of life: delicious food, fellowship with friends and family, sacred time in nature, lots of adventure, and a respect and curiosity for a deeper experience, a spiritual one. She does not view the world through rose-colored glasses. Mimi is very honest about the difficulties and struggles in life. But she remains always hopeful and lives in anticipation of what tomorrow might bring. Like me, Mimi is a mother of six young children, so busy, and yet, I watched as she modeled for her family and her guests the essentials to living a soulful existence here on earth. I highly recommend you check out one of her cookbooks because they are each a beautiful treatise on living soulfully.
Mimi’s recipe for Ratatouille is a delicious stand alone meal topped with a golden fried egg and served with a simple green salad and baguette. Or serve as a colorful accompaniment to my Roasted Lemon and Thyme chicken or Steak Frites. The chopping is worth the effort! And it’s even better the next day for lunch! Commenting on this recipe, Mimi said, “I always feel invigorated when I cook this meal, not only is the scent uplifting, but the deep and rich colors of the mixed vegetables give you a sense of culinary wisdom—as if your body was a temple and you are about to make a healthy offering.”
- 3 cups Diced Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes
- 3 cups Diced medley of red, yellow, green, orange peppers
- 3 cups Diced eggplant
- 3 cups Diced zucchini
- 2 cups Diced squash
- 1 Large Diced onion
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Kosher salt
- 2 cloves Garlic, skins on
- 2 Tbsp. Herbes de Provence
- 1 cup Fresh basil, chiffonade
- 5 Tbsp Good olive oil
- 1 Bundle Fresh Thyme
The recipe does require prep so invite some helpers to chop. Dice eggplant, peppers, onions, zucchini, squash and tomatoes. Put each in a separate bowl as you will cook each vegetable individually. First, the onions. Coat your sauté pan with olive oil, toss in your fresh bundle of Thyme, two cloves of garlic, skins on, salt & pepper, and Herbes de Provence. Cook each vegetable al dente and then transfer to a serving bowl. Settle in for some stove-top conversation. You will repeat the process for each vegetable: Olive oil, the bundle of Fresh Thyme, cloves of garlic, salt & pepper, Herbes de Provence. I start with my onions, follow with peppers, eggplant, zucchini, squash and tomatoes. Once each vegetable is cooked al dente, remove the garlic and Thyme to side dish, pour the vegetables into bowl and start again! Barely cook the tomatoes.
All the vegetables will be combined in the bowl. Discard garlic and Thyme. Top with a chiffonade of fresh basil.
In a frying pan, prepare your fried eggs to your liking, over-easy at our house! Top the colorful ratatouille with the egg, serve with a plain green salad drizzled with lemon juice, olive oil and Maldon salt. A crisp baguette is always nice!
May our lives reflect the Truth
Hope is real
Healing is possible
Life is a privilege
We exist for a purpose
Grace is available
God has us.
Gift yourself with Mimi Thorisson’s recent book, French Country Cooking, Meals and Moments From a French Village in the Vineyards. Sitting down with a cup of tea and new cookbook is pure soul joy for me. For an extra treat follow Mimi for culinary inspiration on instagram.