Ratatouille

February 6, 2008 at 9:39 am | Posted in veggie side | 10 Comments

It’s time again for Dinner Club! This month is being hosted by my dear friend, Angela. She has cleverly chosen a French food theme. Think Paris, amore, love…Valentine’s Day.

I am bringing the famous French dish, Ratatouille (confit byaldi). Honestly, I didn’t even know what Ratatouille was until seeing Pixar’s latest film, Ratatouille.

movie-picture-ratatouille.jpg

I know my presentation does not begin to hold a candle to the animators at Pixar, but I am very pleased with the results. Despite all of the steps, I would make this again. My Cuisinart Food Processor made quick work of evenly slicing all of the veggies. Plus, it tastes really good and is full of yummy veggies!

ratatouille-serving-small.jpg
Ratatouille
FOR PIPERADE
  • 1/2 red pepper, seeds and ribs removed
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, seeds and ribs removed
  • 1/2 orange pepper, seeds and ribs removed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 3 tomatoes (about 12 ounces total weight), peeled, seeded, and finely diced, juices reserved
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 sprig flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 a bay leaf
  • Kosher salt

    FOR VEGETABLES

    • 1 zucchini (4 to 5 ounces) sliced in 1/16-inch rounds
    • 1 Japanese eggplant*, (4 to 5 ounces) sliced into 1/16-inch rounds
    • 1 yellow squash (4 to 5 ounces) sliced into 1/16-inch rounds
    • 4 Roma tomatoes, sliced into 1/16-inch rounds
    • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
    • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • 1/8teaspoon thyme leaves
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

    *I couldn’t find a japanese eggplant, so I just used a regular one. The trick to this dish looking good is to make sure all of your veggies are sliced about the same size.

    FOR VINAIGRETTE

    • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
    • Assorted fresh herbs (thyme flowers, chervil, thyme)
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

    1. For piperade, heat oven to 450 degrees. Place pepper halves on a foil-lined sheet, cut side down. Roast until skin loosens, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest until cool enough to handle. Peel and chop finely.

    2. Combine oil, garlic, and onion in medium skillet over low heat until very soft but not browned, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes, their juices, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf. Simmer over low heat until very soft and very little liquid remains, about 10 minutes, do not brown; add peppers and simmer to soften them. Season to taste with salt, and discard herbs. Pour piperade into a food processor and process until smooth. Reserve tablespoon of mixture and spread remainder in bottom of an 8-inch skillet.

    3. For vegetables, heat oven to 275 degrees. Down center of pan, arrange a strip of 8 alternating slices of vegetables over piperade, overlapping so that 1/4 inch of each slice is exposed. Around the center strip, overlap vegetables in a close spiral that lets slices mound slightly toward center. Repeat until pan is filled; all vegetables may not be needed.

    ratatouille-small.jpg

    4. Mix garlic, oil, and thyme leaves in bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle over vegetables. Cover pan with foil and crimp edges to seal well. Bake until vegetables are tender when tested with a paring knife, about 2 hours. Uncover and bake for 30 minutes more. (Lightly cover with foil if it starts to brown.) If there is excess liquid in pan, place over medium heat on stove until reduced. (At this point it may be cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Serve cold or reheat in 350-degree oven until warm.)

    ratatouille-baked-small.jpg

    5. For vinaigrette, combine reserved piperade, oil, vinegar, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl.

    6. To serve, heat broiler and place byaldi underneath until lightly browned. Slice in quarters and very carefully lift onto plate with offset spatula. Turn spatula 90 degrees, guiding byaldi into fan shape. Drizzle vinaigrette around plate. Serve hot.

    Yield: 4 servings (I doubled this recipe)

    This recipe has been adapted from Thomas Keller of the French Laundry in Yountville, CA.

    ratatouille-side-serving-small.jpg

    Want more ideas from Pixar’s Ratatouille? Here’s my take on Potato Leek Soup.

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    10 Comments »

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    1. First, my apologies for somehow seeing the month of January as your name. Um, brain, where did you go?

      Second, a shower of kudos for successfully making something from Keller. I just finished reading a book which claimed his dishes were impossible, and I think your take looks both possible and divine.

    2. Ratatouille! Ever since I saw that movie I’ve been dying to try it. Yours looks delicious!

    3. Its beautiful!!! On the plate and in the cassarole.

    4. Umm–Will you be my mom and make me dinner like that? Looks amazing!

    5. Thanks so much for bringing this, Karen! It tastes absolutely as delicious as it looks! It made a very beautiful dish :).

    6. Chou- This dish is very accessible to the everyday cook! If I can do it, any one can!

      Collette and Megan- Thanks!

      Allison- I probably am old enough to be your mom 😉

      Angela- Thanks for hosting a fun night!

    7. Not many dishes taste as good as they look — this one was delicious! Thanks, K!

    8. OH MY that looks so beautiful!!! Too good to eat!!

    9. I think your reproduction of the ratatouille is fantastic. When I saw the movie I was thinking how great it would be to be able to reproduce that beautiful “peasant” dish. Nicely done!

    10. I can’t believe you had the patience to lay them out so beautifully. I am impressed!!


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