February 11, 2012

Remy's Ratatouille/Confit Byaldi

Bell peppers in vibrant colors of red, orange, and yellow were on sale at our local grocery store. They are just 99 cents a pound--such a deal! This is wonderful, as I wanted to make something light with vegetables for dinner tonight. These luscious and plump peppers inspired me to make a classic recipe made famous by Remy.
He is a rat from the animated movie, Ratatouille. He has a penchant for good food and an imaginative attention for flavor and aroma. In the movie he makes this dish for Ego, the restaurant critic who waits patiently at the table. Ratatouille is a well-known vegetable stew consisting of eggplant, zucchini, and tomato. It is a simple and colorful dish that is really fun to make. This recipe is the Thomas Keller's interpretation of Confit Byaldi. The recipe was published in New York Times.
Ingredients: (adapted from New York Times)
Piperade sauce
½ red bell pepper, seeds removed
½ yellow bell pepper, seeds removed
½ orange bell pepper, seeds removed
2 ½ Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced finely
½ cup yellow onion, minced finely
4 firm tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely diced
2 stalks of fresh thyme, chopped finely
1 stalk parsley, chopped finely
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1 medium zucchini, sliced in 1/16-inch-thick rounds
1 medium Japanese eggplant (4 to 5 ounces) sliced into 1/16-inch-thick rounds
1 yellow summer squash, sliced into 1/16-inch-thick rounds
4 Roma tomatoes, sliced into 1/16-inch-thick rounds
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves, chopped finely
salt and pepper taste
Vinaigrette dressing
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp.fresh chervil, chopped finely
1 tsp. fresh thyme, chopped finely
salt and pepper to taste
1. To make the piperade: Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil. Place peppers flesh side down on the baking tray. Roast in the center of the oven until the skins loosens and browned, about 15 minutes. Remove roasted peppers from the oven and side aside to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 275°F.
2.When the peppers are cool enough to handle, peel the skins away and discard skins. Finely chopped the peppers and set aside. Heat a skillet over low heat, combine oil, garlic and onions. Sauté until they are translucent and soft, but not browned. Add the chopped tomatoes and their juices, herbs and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook for about 8-10 minutes until a little liquid remains (do not brown). Stir in the peppers and further simmer for a minute. Remove the herbs and season to taste. Reserve a tablespoon of the mixture for the vinagrette. Spread the remaining mixture over the bottom of an oven-proof dish.
3. Arrange the vegetables by alternating slices of zucchini, eggplant, squash and tomatoes over the piperage sauce. Overlap each slices so that 1/4 inch of each slices is exposed in a spiral design until the vegetables filled about 3/4 up to the rim of the baking dish. In a small bowl, mix the garlic, oil and thyme, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle this over vegetables. Cover the baking dish with foil and crimp edges to seal well. Bake until the vegetables are tender when tested with a skewer, about 2 hours. Uncover and bake for another 10-20 minutes. (Lightly cover with foil if it starts to brown).
4. To make the vinaigrette: Whisk together the reserved piperade, oil, vinegar, and herbs. Season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, slice in quarters and lift carefully with a spatula onto a serving plate. Drizzle vinaigrette dressing on top and around the plate.
Printable Recipe

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