Ratatouille

I bet that most of you lovely people had seen the awesome animated movie, "Ratatouille" by now. Please go watch it if you haven't already. Traditionally, ratatouille is a vegetable dish served in a course stew, but in the Ratatouille movie, however, they used a different variation called "Confit Byaldi" whereby the vegetables are layered on top of the stew and confit slowly in the oven until caramelized. In case you are wondering, Confit Byaldi is created by a French chef, Michel Guérard.



This dish indeed takes quite a bit of time and effort preparing and layering, but it is definitely worth it. I mean, even my kids, who are not fans of vegetables, are impressed by the presentation and asked for a second serving. You will need a mandolin to speed things up. It will also ensure that the thickness is even, well unless, you are some sort of a samurai master. The tricky part is slicing the tomatoes. I learned that using a bread serrated knife will slice the tomatoes with ease.


To get the same elegant presentation as the movie, you will need two 3-inch cookie cutters. Tape them together. Place the sliced vegetables vertically inside the cookie cutters until almost fully packed. Place another series of slice vegetables on the top horizontally. Slowly remove the cookie cutters and place a chive over the top. Voila! This is 100% vegan too. Without much delay, let's get started with the recipe.


Ingredients:

(Serve 8)

  • Vegetables:

  • Yellow Squash, 1 to 2

  • Zucchini, 1 to 2

  • Japanese Eggplant, 1 to 2

  • Fresh Roma Tomatoes, 6 to 8

  • Stew:

  • Bell Pepper Yellow, 1

  • Bell Pepper Red, 1

  • Bell Pepper Green, 1

  • Unsalted Butter, 1 TBSP

  • Olive Oil, 1 TBSP

  • Yellow Onion Finely Diced, 1

  • Carrots Finely Diced, 2

  • Celery Finely Diced, 2 Ribs

  • Garlic Finely Minced, 3 Cloves

  • Crushed Tomatoes Canned Preferably Fire Roasted, 28oz

  • Vegan-Friendly Chipotle In Adobo Sauce, 1/2 + 1 TSP of Adobo Sauce

  • Fresh Thyme, Pinch

  • Herbes de Provence, 1 TSP

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • Black Pepper, Pinch

  • Basil Leaves, A Handful

  • Oil Mixture:

  • Olive Oil, 3 TBSP

  • Garlic Finely Minced, 1 Clove

  • Fresh Thyme, Pinch

  • Sea Salt, Pinch

  • Black Pepper, Pinch

Equipment:

  • Mandolin

  • Oven

  • Casserole Dish

  • Blender

  • Sauce Pot

  • Two 3-Inch Cookie Cutters Taped Together

Directions:

  1. Prepare the vegetables.

  2. Using a mandolin, slice squash, zucchini and eggplant to about 1/16 inch thickness.

  3. Using a bread serrated knife, slice the tomatoes to 1/16 inch thickness as well.

  4. Set the vegetables aside.

  5. Prepare the stew.

  6. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius or 400 fahrenheit.

  7. Slice the bell peppers in halves and discarding the seeds.

  8. Line baking tray with parchment paper.

  9. Place the peppers onto the tray.

  10. Wack into the oven and broil until the skin is charred.

  11. Remove from the oven and transfer the peppers into a bowl.

  12. Cover with cling film and set aside to cool.

  13. Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, remove and discard the charred skins.

  14. Roughly chop the peppers and set aside.

  15. In a sauce pot over medium heat, add butter and olive oil.

  16. Once the butter has melted, add in onion, carrots and celery.

  17. Sauté until the onions are translucent.

  18. Add in garlic and saute until aromatic.

  19. Add in the canned tomatoes, chipotle, adobo sauce and the roasted peppers.

  20. Stir to combine well.

  21. Add in thyme and herbes de provence.

  22. Stir to combine well.

  23. Bring it up to a simmer.

  24. Allow the stew to simmer for about 2 to 3 minutes.

  25. Lastly, season with salt and pepper.

  26. Carefully transfer to a blender as it is piping hot.

  27. Add in the basil leaves and blitz until roughly smooth.

  28. Transfer the stew into an oven proof casserole dish.

  29. Assemble and bake the ratatouille.

  30. Preheat oven to 140 degrees celsius or 285 fahrenheit.

  31. Lay the sliced vegetables on top of the stew; in an alternate pattern - zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant and tomatoes.

  32. In a small bowl, mix together olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.

  33. Drizzle the olive oil mixture over the top. Cover the dish with aluminum foil.

  34. Wack into the oven, bake and confit for 3 hours.

  35. Remove from the oven.

  36. To serve, place the sliced vegetables vertically inside the cookie cutters until almost fully packed.

  37. Place another series of slice vegetables on the top horizontally.

  38. Slowly remove the cookie cutters. Place a chive over the top.

  39. Drizzle some of that stew on the side. Place some parsley over the top.

  40. Serve immediately.

#ratatouille

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