A dish Rémi would approve of!
Yields 4 servings as a main course or 6 as a side dish.
Ratatouille is a classic and authentic french dish that contains, savoury eggplant, rich zucchini, sweet peppers and tomatoes. It’s covered in a thick rich sauce, that is slowly simmered with white wine and loads of garlic. I originally learned of this dish in culinary school, which we used as a base to pair with other mains. The technique is to layer the food on the plate to make it as visually pleasing as possible. To achieve that “aesthetic”, place a small amount of Ratatouille in the center of the plate and place a piece of protein on top. Pair the Ratatouille with a rich protein, such as grilled steak, a hearty fish like halibut or even my herb crusted rack of lamb (yes, shameless plug). Alternatively, for vegetarians, serve ratatouille with crunchy fresh bread and some hard cheeses such aged cheddar or pecorino. This meal is perfect to serve in the summer or fall when the vegetables are just ripe!
- This dish requires a bit of chopping and sauteing, so prep it prior to your guests arriving, as it simply needs to be heated through before serving.
- If you’re a real “Organized Olivia” then make it a day before and heat it up on the stove-top! This keeps well in the fridge for up to 3 days. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
- Plating technique: In culinary school we learned that appealing plates are just as important as the taste! In the center of your serving plate, place a round ring (biscuit cutter or a round cookie cutter, large mason jar lid,etc) and fill the ring with ratatouille. Press down on the edges to fill the ring tightly. Gently remove the ring, and voila! You have a perfectly shaped circle of ratatouille in the center of your plate.
Here's What You're Gonna Do
Prep your mise, i.e chop everything! This is a great recipe to practice your knife skills. Chop eggplant in 1cm cubes, zucchini in half lengthwise then in half again to create little triangles. Cut the peppers in 1 cm squares. And finally, dice the onion and mince the garlic.
Now that you’re all set lets get cooking!This next step is removing the skin of the tomato by blanching the tomatos in boiling water. Place small pot of water on the stove to boil. Meanwhile, remove the eye of each tomato and make a small “X” on the other side. This will help with the peeling process. Boil the tomatoes for 10 seconds until the skin begins to blister. Remove them from the water and run the under cold water to stop the cooking process. Now remove the skin and discard. Dice the tomatoes.
In a large saute pan heat up some olive oil and saute eggplant, zucchini, peppers in batches. Once cooked transfer to a large bowl.
Once eggplant, zucchinis and peppers are cooked and in the bowl add the butter and remaining oil to the pan and sweat the garlic and onions. Cook out the tomato paste and wine until it’s fully reduced. Then add all the veggies, balsamic, salt, bay leaf and cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Large Sauce Pan
- Large Bowl
- 1 Eggplant
- 1 Green Zucchini
- 1 Yellow Zucchini
- 2 Garlic Cloves Minced
- 1 Red Pepper
- 1 Orange Pepper
- 3 Tomatoes
- 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 3 tbsp White Wine
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 tsp Salt
- Chop eggplant in 1cm cubes, zucchini in half lengthwise then in half again to create little triangles. Cut the peppers in 1 cm squares.
- Finely dice the onion and mince garlic.
- In a small pot, boil water. While the water is boiling, remove the eye of the tomato (where the stalk meets the fruit) and make a cross in the skin at the base of the tomato with your knife. Place tomatoes in the boiling water for ten seconds. Once cooled, peel the tomato skins and discard. Cut tomatoes in half and remove the seeds. Finally, dice the tomatoes.
- In a large sauté pan, on medium heat, add 1 tsp of olive oil and sauté zucchini for 5 minutes. Place in a large bowl and set aside.
- Add another 1 tsp of olive oil to the pan then add the eggplant, sauté for 8 minutes. Once cooked, add them to the large bowl with the zucchini.
- Place 1 tsp of olive oil in a sauté pan and add peppers, saute for 5 minutes, add to the bowl with the other veggies.
- Add the remaining olive oil and 2 tbl of butter to the pan. Add onions and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for another 3 minutes, then add the wine and cook until fully reduced, 3-4 minutes.
- Once wine has reduced, add all remaining vegetables to the large pan with the balsamic, salt and bay leaf. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Prior to serving, taste the ratatouille and see if it requires more salt or balsamic.