Eggplant Casserole for International Picnic Day!

In honor of International Picnic Day, Louise at Months of Edible Celebrations is hosting a virtual picnic game. This means participating bloggers choose a letter of the alphabet, make something to bring to a picnic starting with that letter, and list all the letters/foods that come before. My letter is E, and I happily say,

“I’m going on a picnic, and I’m bringing:

A-Artichokes, steamed and dressed with mayonnaise
B-Baked beans
C-Cauliflower Tabbouleh
D-Dunkin’ Donuts with maple syrup and honey frosting
E-Eggplant casserole!

I’ve been feeling a bit underwhelmed with cooking lately, so I went back to the basics and looked for inspiration from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. After hovering over five different recipes, I decided on eggplant casserole with tomatoes, onions, peppers, and zucchini (a.k.a. ratatouille).

My decision was further solidified after watching Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: Provence. At the end of this episode, Bourdain prepared a meal for his hosts featuring regional dishes and using authentic Provencal ingredients. One dish was his “ratatouille”, which the locals said was delicious but could not be called ratatouille. There were three reasons for this that I can tell (though I could be wrong). First, his veggies were chopped into bits as opposed to traditional slices and looked more like confetti salad. However, this seemed more aesthetic than problematic. Second, his veggies looked pretty crisp while ratatouille veggies become rather soft after an initial saute and then communal boil or bake. Finally, the beauty of ratatouille is that the flavors from the sauteed veggies meld together over time. It looked as if Bourdain’s mixed veggies had only been tossed together for a couple of minutes. However, I could be wrong on all counts, and the locals could have completely different reasons. Bottom line: Julia Child’s ratatouille that I made was extremely delicious. I allowed the eggplant casserole to rest overnight, and the flavors really came through the next day when I ate it for lunch with some sliced chicken breast. I hope everyone enjoys the eggplant casserole I brought for International Picnic Day!

54 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chaya
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 13:32:09

    Hi E. I can’t wait to taste the eggplant. Come sit on my blanket and share. You can have some of my quinoa salad.

    This looks delicious. I was thinking eggplant Parmesan for dinner today or tomorrow but now, I am not so sure.

    I always love your photos.

  2. Chaya
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 13:34:38

    You took chocolate cookies and made them into something Supreme Superior Satisfying and Sweet. I know, there are more S words. This is a fantastic idea. if you have a moment, would you put it into the Recipe Box (linky)?

  3. Alice
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 13:58:09

    I’ve been planning a summer picnic for weeks now!! this sounds great! how great that you were able to compare notes! πŸ™‚ love eggplant!

  4. Roger Stowell
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 14:11:43

    That looks really good. Nice one.

  5. Promenade Claire
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 14:19:48

    loving picnic day and your recipe!

  6. saucycooks
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 14:32:49

    Oh yum! I love eggplant and ratatouille is one of my favs.

  7. Suzi
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 14:40:39

    How coo,l a virtual picnic. I really like that idea. Your eggplant dish looks very tasty, I love all the veggies.

  8. Louanne Bertrand
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 15:09:14

    Virtual picnic – awesome, no bugs! Love eggplant in all forms, especially ratatouille…delicious!

  9. Choc Chip Uru
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 15:18:15

    This is a fantastic addition my friend, looks stunning πŸ˜€
    Who can resist eggplant!

    Choc Chip Uru

  10. Holly
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 16:03:20

    It sounds delish!

  11. TrafficDiva
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 16:34:10

    I agree with the other posters…you really do take amazing photos..your dishes seem like they always come out perfect…and who wouldn’t love a virtual picnic?!?!? No bugs, INDEED!! haha!

  12. Heather
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 17:01:41

    looks really yummy – and I’m not much of an eggplant fan:)

  13. bakingaddict
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 17:24:27

    I love eggplant! Great addition to the picnic – I’ve just posted my M contribution πŸ™‚

  14. Liz
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 17:56:50

    I’ve made this recipe, too…SO good!! I tried to speed it up one time, and it wasn’t nearly as tasty~

  15. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 18:27:39

    You come up with such clever stuff for picnics.

  16. lena
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 19:47:42

    hi, coming over from the picnic game. I love eggplants and ratatouille, actually havent been making them for such a long time and like eating them with bread.

  17. Mary
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 20:41:56

    Don’t you just love picnic’s! especially with this wonderful casserole – lovely flavors
    Mary x

  18. kitchen flavours
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 20:45:40

    I’ve never had an eggplant casserole! Would definitely be in queue for this!

  19. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 22:01:23

    How fun and this eggplant casserole is so unique!

  20. Yudith @ Blissfully Delicious
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 22:04:28

    What a fun game, and love this eggplant caserole!

  21. hotlyspiced
    Jun 27, 2012 @ 22:36:38

    I love Julia Child and I love the look of this. I’ve never made an eggplant casserole but you’ve inspired me xx

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  24. Alice
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 08:21:36

    Hey there! πŸ™‚
    I have nominated you for the Lovely Blog award! Check out this post to accept it!

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  26. Balvinder
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 10:09:00

    This is a fun picnic game and I like your casserole.
    I am in actual organizing a a barbecue at our house this Sunday. This can be one of the dish. Where can I find the recipe?

    Jun 28, 2012 @ 10:24:27

    This casserole looks totally yummy and a wonderful addition to the picnic basket!!

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  29. Baker Street (@bakerstreet29)
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 10:59:48

    this is one delicious casserole. love eggplant and absolutely love to give this a try.

  30. Colleen @ Culinary Colleen
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 11:00:19

    You really can’t go wrong with a Julia Childs recipe. This looks fantastic! I need to use her book more often.

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  32. forgottenbeast
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 11:25:28

    This is gorgeous! And my garden is about to fill up with fresh eggplants, so I’ll definitely have to try something similar. You can’t beat casseroles as an easy way to make enough food for several meals–perfect in summer when you don’t want to crank up the oven/stove every day.

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  34. Inger Wilkerson
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 19:10:55

    My mother used to make something like this–and I haven’t thought about it in ages. What a perfect answer for the fall harvest (which alas will be here before we know it)

  35. Ronda
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 19:37:46

    Oh! I love a picnic. That looks like a great addition too!

  36. Jessica Maher (@kbelleicious)
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 21:20:31

    love eggplant and this casserole looks fantastic. perfect for picnics! Awesome job

  37. Geni
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 21:23:03

    What a great picnic dish!

  38. Mich - Piece of Cake
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 21:46:31

    Hi, came across your blog from the Picnic Game and your eggplant casserole looks amazing! I love eggplant and would love to have some. Do save some for me during the picnic πŸ™‚

  39. Just A Smidgen
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 22:21:22

    Happy Picnic Day!! I’d have a bowlful of yours… any day!

  40. Ameena
    Jun 29, 2012 @ 00:37:20

    I love a good ratatouille…this one looks divine! Happy picnic day…who knew there was such a thing!

  41. Nami | Just One Cookbook
    Jun 29, 2012 @ 00:53:04

    Nice choice! I love eggplant, would you bring it to my house too? =D I’m not vegetarian but I’d be happy to eat this anytime! Everyone is so creative – I love virtual picnic idea. Make cooking and blog hopping more fun!

  42. Anita Menon
    Jun 29, 2012 @ 01:39:29

    I ❀ egg plant. the cassrole looks amazing. I am sure it would have tasted yum.

  43. Beth
    Jun 29, 2012 @ 07:31:03

    This looks terrific! I like the sound of Bourdain’s, too.

  44. Audrey Allure
    Jun 29, 2012 @ 10:27:36

    Mmm yummy!

  45. Erica Retrochef
    Jun 29, 2012 @ 21:31:02

    Perfect timing… I’ve got a couple of eggplants from the farmers market that need to be eaten, and I was getting a bit bored with sautΓ©ing it πŸ™‚ Thanks for bringing this to the picnic!!!

  46. Elaine
    Jun 29, 2012 @ 22:20:50

    That looks wonderful!

  47. Cakelaw
    Jun 30, 2012 @ 01:01:33

    Sounds delicious!

  48. Tina
    Jun 30, 2012 @ 16:43:09

    You cannot go wrong with Julia and as far as I am concerned – eggplant is always a winner! I an one of your fellow picnic buddies πŸ™‚

  49. chanknits
    Jul 01, 2012 @ 12:25:53

    Another picnic recipe pinned. I’m going to have to take time off from work to have time to try them all very soon!

  50. Eleanor@eatinglikeahorse
    Jul 01, 2012 @ 13:31:56

    That looks so good – off to check out the recipe!

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  52. sanyaliving
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 09:21:11

    wow! delicious!

  53. Amanda
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 11:55:13

    This looks so good. I starred it to bake later!

  54. Balvinder
    Jul 05, 2012 @ 08:53:33

    My dear, I asked you about the recipe.

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