Well Dined

31Jan/132

Ratatouille

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Ratatouille - a delicious french vegetable dish that is usually kind of like a stew.  I found a recipe from WendyinKK that was inspired by the more upscale version presented in the Disney film.  Beautifully sliced veggies layered in a casserole - this is so gorgeous and hearty.  It is time consuming though, so be prepared.

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Eggplant, bell pepper, roma tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini.  You will probably want to bust out the mandolin slicer for this one, unless your knife skills are really good.

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Such beautiful slices!  You will need to saute the eggplant and squash slices to release their moisture and enhance their flavor.

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Make a sauce of tomato, onion, bell pepper, basil, and oregano and spread into the bottom of a baking dish.

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Then layer all those gorgeous veggies in a pretty pattern and bake.

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You can serve this any way you want - on its own, as a side, as a sauce for chicken or pasta.  Just lovely!

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I actually loved it so much that I decided to turn into a tart, too!

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Hello beautiful veg!

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I used my favorite pasta sauce and fresh ricotta recipe as a base.

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Then I layered on the sauteed eggplant.

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And lastly all the sliced veg.  Unfortunately, it ended up being really liquidy which turned the crust soggy.  Maybe because I didn't saute the squash first?  Maybe I shouldn't have used fresh tomatoes in addition to the sauce?  I don't know - any ideas?  Anyway, it was still delicious, even if it didn't slice nicely.

Ratatouille
adapted from Table for 2
serves 4-8

1 small eggplant
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium green zucchini
3 roma tomatoes
kosher salt
Olive oil

For the Sauce:
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, chopped
14 oz tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tsp ground oregano
Salt to taste
1 tbsp sugar
Handful of basil, sliced
Olive oil

Prepare the vegetables:  Slice into thin rounds.  Put the eggplant, squash, and zucchini into a big bowl.  Sprinkle generously with kosher salt and toss.  Transfer to a colander and allow to drain for 20 minutes.  Return to the bowl, drizzle with olive oil and toss.  Heat a pan and sear the oiled vegetables for a few minutes on each side.  This will take several batches; set aside.

Cook the sauce:
Return the pan to medium heat, add some olive oil and saute onion until translucent.  Add bell pepper and garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Put in chopped tomatoes and cook until softened.  Add in oregano, salt and sugar.  Cook until everything softens and turns thick.

Assembly:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Put the sauce into the bottom of a baking pan. Sprinkle basil over sauce.  Arrange the vegetables over sauce.  Bake for 15 minutes.

Ratatouille Tart
adapted from House to Haus

For the sauce:
1 large can diced Marzano tomatoes with their juices
5 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
Salt to taste

For the Ricotta:
4 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp kosher salt
3 tbsp good white wine vinegar

For the tart dough:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp kosher salt
6 tbsp cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup ice water

For the vegetables:
1 small eggplant
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium green zucchini
2 bell peppers
kosher salt
Olive oil

Make the sauce: Put the canned in a saucepan, add the butter and onion, and cook uncovered at a very slow, but steady simmer for about 45 minutes, or until it is thickened to your liking and the fat floats free from the tomato (this is just an indication, no need to try to strain the fat out, just stir it back in).

Stir from time to time, mashing up any large pieces of tomato with the back of a wooden spoon. Taste and correct for salt. Remove the onion to a food processor and pulse until chopped. Set the onions and 1 cup of the sauce aside.

Make the ricotta: Set a large sieve over a deep bowl. Dampen 2 layers of cheesecloth with water and line the sieve with the cheesecloth.

Pour the milk and cream into a large pot. Stir in the salt. Bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar. Allow the mixture to stand for 1 minute until it curdles. It will separate into thick parts (the curds) and milky parts (the whey).

Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth-lined sieve and allow it to drain into the bowl at room temperature for 20 to 25 minutes, occasionally discarding the liquid that collects in the bowl. The longer you let the mixture drain, the thicker the ricotta. Transfer the ricotta to a bowl, discarding the cheesecloth and any remaining whey. Set aside 1 cup of the ricotta and cover the rest with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The ricotta will keep refrigerated for 4 to 5 days.

Make the tart dough: Combine salt and flour in a large bowl. Add the butter in small chunks and integrate into the flour using a pastry blender or your fingers. Slowly pour the water into the dough and mix with a fork. Only use as much water as you need to form the dough into a ball.

Lightly flour your work surface and with a rolling pin roll the dough disc into a rough circle about 1/8 inch thick - large enough to cover your (9-10 inch) tart pan. Place the dough in your butter-greased tart pan, smooth out around the edges and trim excess dough by running the rolling pin around the edge. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes

Prepare the vegetables: Slice into thin rounds. Put the eggplant, squash, and zucchini into a big bowl. Sprinkle generously with kosher salt and toss. Transfer to a colander and allow to drain for 20 minutes. Return to the bowl, drizzle with olive oil and toss. Heat a pan and sear the oiled vegetables for a few minutes on each side. This will take several batches; set aside.

Assemble the tart: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spread the onions over the dough. Follow with the 1 cup of ricotta and then 3/4 cup of the tomato sauce. Then layer on the eggplant slices (making the center slightly higher) and drizzle with the remaining 1/4 cup tomato sauce. Starting from the outside begin to spiral the zucchini, squash, and bell pepper slices in whatever order you please. Continue spiraling until you reach the center. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and olive oil.

Place in the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes. Let it cool a bit and then remove the tart plan. Best served warm.

Comments (2) Trackbacks (0)
  1. That is absolutely beautiful. I love ratatouille but have never prepared it this way before. Very nice presentation!


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