Ratatouille.

Everyone loves the movie. I mean, who couldn’t love a rat that can cook like nobody’s business? And also, cute. But anyway, once I saw the recipe for ratatouille on foodgawker.com and I realised that I had all the ingredients in my fridge, it didn’t take much to tear me away from my study! It was surprisingly easy. If you plan to make this dish though, the most important thing is to try and find vegetables of the same radius. Baby eggplants, yellow zucchini, green zucchini, sweet potato and Roma tomatoes work best. If you can only get normal eggplant just cut it in quarters length-ways and squash works if you don’t have yellow eggplant. It smells fantastic in the oven, I didn’t realise it would take so long to cook, but thankfully Gemma made me a kebab whilst I’m waiting. The alternating colours look amazing and the stock mixture smells great. I used a little cornflour to help thicken the sauce. Here is the recipe, courtesy of http://www.atablefortwo.com.au/2010/10/18/ratatouille/.

Ratatouille

Ingredients:

  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 3 yellow squash
  • 2 baby eggplants
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 can chopped tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Slice zucchini, tomato, eggplant and squash thinly, approximately 2mm thickness.
  2. Arrange slices of prepared vegetables by overlapping in alternate colours as close and tightly as possible into a baking dish. Fill the vegetables snuggly in the baking dish without too much open space, cover the extra space with extra vegetables. Tips: To accentuate the colour of the vegetables, alternate between light and dark colour vegetables. eg, eggplant (dark), squash (light), zucchini (dark), tomato (light).
  3. Preheat oven to 150C.
  4. In a small saucepan, sauteed onion and garlic until soften. Add vegetable stock, cumin seeds, bay leaf and bring to boil. Strain the stock into a bowl.
  5. Pour the stock into the baking dish about 1/2 full without covering the vegetables. Wrap the baking dishes in foil, place them on a baking tray and put in the oven for 1 hour.
  6. While the dish is baking, now prepare the sauce. Pour the remaining stock along with all the vegetables in the strainer back into the saucepan. Add chopped tomato and bring to boil once more. Add salt and pepper to taste, then simmer until the stock reduced by half and becomes a thick sauce. Once ready, discard bay leaf and set aside ready to be used.
  7. After 1 hour, take the baking dish out of the oven, pour out the stock. Cover them back in foil, put the baking dish back in oven for another 15 minutes on 180C. Take it out of oven, let it cool a little before plating.
  8. Use a small 2.5″ food presentation ring, carefully lift a whole stack of cooked vegetables and place along the edge inside the food ring. Repeat until a full circle of vegetables is formed inside the food ring. If there is space in the middle, fill the space with more cooked vegetables to make sure the stack is steady and firm before lifting the food ring up.
  9. Lift up the food ring, place a few more slices of vegetables on top of the stack.
  10. Drizzle the tomato sauce on top of the stack and around the plate.

This turned out remarkable well and I am sooooo happy with some of the photos I got of it. I can’t wait to post them all up! It tasted amazing and I got to share it with Gem, but there is still plenty in the fridge. Such a light and healthy meal, I think it would be perfect for an entree next time I have friends over for dinner. Definite success.

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