Annie’s Wonderful Ratatouille

It’s been an exciting, busy week here at The Café …………….
………….with three little girlies and their “mum” visiting grammy and papa – all the way from London. I’ve been doing a lot of cooking and have had some wonderful sous chefs,  but ………….. setting up and taking pictures of the food …………. well, that’s another story.

Knowing I would want to enjoy every minute possible with my girls was exactly why I saved a fabulous recipe that my sister, Annie sent me several weeks ago; a delicious Ratatouille, combining fabulous seasonal produce into a mouthwatering summer meal.

Annie wrote and said – This has become a favorite of ours, really delicious and I love that you can make it a day ahead and bake it just before your guests come. When you put it in the metal ring molds and then un-mold it onto the plate it looks so professional. Really pretty and so good for you too!

Annie’s Ratatouille

Ingredients for the sauce:
1 onion chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 yellow and 1 red bell pepper, charred, peeled, seeded and ribs removed
1 poblano pepper and 2 chili peppers, charred, peeled and seeds and ribs removed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Ingredients for the vegetable layers:
2 yellow squash, sliced in 1/16 inch rounds
2 zucchini, sliced in 1/16 inch rounds
2 Japanese eggplant, sliced in 1/16 inch rounds
6 roma tomatoes, sliced into 1/16 inch rounds

Ingredients for the seasoning oil:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Ingredients for the toppings:
grated Parmesan cheese
chopped fresh basil
aged balsamic vinegar

Directions:
1. Heat oil and butter in a medium size saucepan. Sauté onion, carrots and celery for 10 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring frequently.  Add minced garlic and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Stir in peppers, crushed tomatoes, Herbs de Provence, salt and pepper.  Continue cooking for 20 minutes.

2. Pour sauce in to baking dish. Arrange vegetables around in circular pattern (see photo). Sprinkle top with seasoning oil. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 280 for 3 hours. Cool and refrigerate overnight. 
3.  Bake for 45 minutes at 350˚F before serving. Sprinkle with the fresh basil, grated Parmesan and a drizzle of the aged balsamic.
Note:
~  After the Ratatouille is all done, put individual size metal ring molds on a cookies sheet.  Scoop individual serving size portions of the ratatouille into the ring molds. Slant the cookies sheet for a minute or two to allow the juices to run out slightly, which will help them stay together better. Slip a spatula under one of the rings and transfer to a plate. Un-mold by lifting the ring mold – sprinkle with the fresh basil, grated parmesan and a swirl of aged balsamic.

PRINTABLE RECIPE

Adapated from Chef Bruno Albouz



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