• William Elliott Hinson

Ratatouille (Confit Byaldi)


This week I decided to cook a heavily requested dish, ratatouille. Well, to be exact, I am cooking confit Baldi, which is the "ratatouille" that is cooked in the Pixar movie. Real ratatouille is all of the same ingredients simply chopped up and added to a stew, and it is what the critic eats in his flashback. Whatever you want to call this, it is delicious and not as hard as you would think. It is a pure celebration of vegetables, so feel free to switch out the ingredients with whatever is fresh when you are cooking it. I hope you enjoy

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil

  • 1 Half Onion

  • 1 Carrot

  • 2 Bell Peppers

  • 6 cloves Garlic

  • 1/2 cup Red Wine

  • 1 tbsp Tomato Paste

  • 1 tbsp Dried Thyme

  • 1 can Whole Peeled Tomatoes

  • 2-3 Tbsp Dried Herbs

  • 6 Roma Tomatoes

  • 2 Eggplants

  • 2 Zucchinis

  • 2 Yellow Squashes

  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil

  • 1/2 bunch Parsley

  • 1 tbsp Fresh Thyme

  • 2 cloves Garlic

  • Kosher Salt

  • Black Pepper

Directions

  1. For the sauce: In a large cast-iron skillet, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add in half of a chopped onion, one chopped carrot, and two chopped bell peppers. Any color will work, I like red and yellow personally. Let that cook for about 3-5 minutes or until some color starts to appear, then add 6 cloves of chopped garlic and a tablespoon of tomato paste. Cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute, and then add half a cup of good red wine. Let that reduce for 3-5 minutes and then add in a whole can of whole, peeled tomatoes. Add a tablespoon of dried thyme and whatever other herbs you would like. I normally use rosemary, oregano, and bay leaves. Let simmer for half an hour before blending with an immersion blender. Continue simmering, covered, for up to four hours.

  2. Chope all of the veggies. The roma tomatoes should be done by hand as they are fragile, but the squash, zucchini, and eggplant can be cut on a mandolin if desired. Lay them out on a baking sheet for easy access.

  3. In a cast iron, spread a thin layer of the roasted bell pepper and tomato sauce onto the bottom. You will not use all of it, and the sauce should only come up about a centimeter. Now, stack the vegies in your hand, alternating through all four types, for about two or three sets, leaving you with eight to twelve slices in your hand. Shingle those into your cast iron, and then continue with more vegies. If you are having trouble with this part, try watching the video below.

  4. In a small bowl, mix together half a cup of olive oil, a tablespoon of fresh thyme, a half bunch of fresh parsley, and a few twists of black pepper.

  5. Season top of ratatouille generously with kosher salt, or flakey if you have it, and black pepper. Spread most of the parsley mixture on top as well, letting it clump up to create interesting textural and flavorful changes throughout the dish.

  6. Bake in a 375-degree oven, covered in tin foil, for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and back for another 20 minutes or so, until the veggies are tender and the tops of the veggies have begun to brown. Let rest a few minutes before serving.

  7. Enjoy!


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