|The aubergine, red and yellow peppers, zucchini topped with crumble goat cheese and puff pastry triangles.|
Originating from Nice in Provence, Ratatouille is a layered melange of roasted vegetables with grated cheese liberally sprinkled all over and baked to perfection. Served as a casserole with pasta or crusty bread.
My version is a modern Ratatouille; 21st Century!
Similar vegetable dishes can be found in Spain, Greece, Turkey, and Italy; a variation on the original French Ratatouille Provencal, which is pronounced Raa-taa-tu-ee.
I like to serve this up with goat cheese and triangles of freshly baked puff pastry.
|Or simply serve them in vol au vents?|
Makes enough for 30 large Vol au vents
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 small eggplant or aubergine
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp safflower oil
1 large golden onion
2 cups skinless chopped diced tomatoes
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black peppercorn
1 cup water
1 tsp dried herbes de provence
1/2 cup goat cheese, diced or crumbled
Cut the vegetables into equal sized squares, toss them with olive oil sprinkle this with salt and roast in the oven until just soft. Do not overcook them.
In a pan, heat a tbsp of oil and add one very finely chopped large onion, Saute until it is soft and catches a light colour. Now add 2 cups of chopped tomatoes, brown sugar, salt and pepper, herbs de provence and water.
Cook it until it is thick and sticky.
Toss the roasted vegetables into this sauce. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes prior to serving.
Place the ratatouille in a large shallow bowl and crumble all the feta over it. Sprinkle with a choice of green herbs for colour; watercress, mint, parsley, or coriander all work well.
Top it with the puff pastry triangles to finish.
Serve it in a vol-au-vent. Ensure that most of the liquid has evaporated; otherwise it will get soggy. Fill it just before you want to serve it up and heat it for 3 minutes before serving to melt the cheese.
If you have fresh herbs, use oregano and thyme to substitute herbs de provence.
To read about an ancient cuisine you can purchase my cookbooks called The World of Parsi Cooking; Food Across Borders and The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine.