Chef Thomas Keller’s interpretation of the French dish ratatouille, from Pixar’s Ratatouille when he was a consultant on the film. Wanted to make a note that traditional ratatouille is a vegetable stew! This version I believe is known as a ‘Tian Provençal’ which refers to a dish that is layered and baked. The name ‘Confit Byaldi’ is a reference to ‘İmam bayıldı’, Turkish stuffed eggplant.
Recipe adapted from the New York Times and Binging With Babish.
I used both and combined different aspects that suited my workflow. Happy cooking! - Jasmine
1/2 red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed
1/2 yellow bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed
1/2 orange bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-5 cloves minced garlic
1/2 finely diced yellow onion
4 roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely diced, juices reserved
1 sprig thyme, picked
2 sprigs rosemary, picked, divided
1 sprig flat-leaf parsley
1/2 of a bay leaf
1/2 cup water
½ cup chicken stock or vegetable stock
Kosher or sea salt
1 zucchini (4 to 5 ounces) sliced in 1/16-inch rounds
1 Japanese or Chinese eggplant (4 to 5 ounces) sliced into 1/16-inch rounds
1 yellow squash (4 to 5 ounces) sliced into 1/16-inch rounds
3 roma tomatoes sliced into 1/16-inch rounds
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon rosemary leaves, picked, chopped
Ground sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
FINISHING SAUCE AND GARNISH:
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
A few leaves of flat-leaf parsley
2 inch end of a chive
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 450° F. Place pepper halves on a foil-lined sheet, cut side down. Roast until skin loosens, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, cover with foil and let rest until cool enough to handle. Peel off skins and chop finely.
(ALTERNATIVE METHOD: (I didn’t do this because we have an open kitchen and it was starting to get too smoky.) Set a large stovetop gas burner to high, and place bell peppers directly on the grate over the flame. Allow skin to char completely before flipping, and blackening on all sides. Remove from heat and cover with tin foil for about 5 minutes, until softened. Peel off skins and chop finely.)
Cut a small “X” into the bottom of 4 of the roma tomatoes, and prepare both a pot of boiling water and a large bowl of ice water. Blanch the tomatoes for less than one minute, until cuts just begin to split up the sides of the tomatoes. Remove immediately and place in the ice bath, and allow to cool completely. Peel skins, chop and set aside.
Combine oil, garlic and onion in a medium skillet over low heat until very soft but not browned. Add tomatoes, their juices, thyme, rosemary, parsley and bay leaf. Add water and stock. Add peppers and simmer to soften them, simmer over low heat until very soft and reduce until very little liquid remains, about 10 minutes but do not brown. Season to taste with salt.
Remove bay leaf and discard. Place sauce in a high-powered blender or food processor or use an immersion hand blender. Blend on high speed until completely smooth. Taste and salt as needed.
Reserve a tablespoon of mixture and spread the remainder in the bottom of an oven safe dish.
VEGETABLES AND ASSEMBLY:
Preheat the oven to 225°F. Using a very sharp knife, cut remaining tomatoes and eggplant into 1/8-inch thick slices. If you have a mandoline, use that to slice the zucchini and yellow squash. If you don’t have one just use the knife.
Begin shingling vegetables on top: eggplant, followed by tomato, yellow squash, and green zucchini - continuing the pattern around the edge of the roaster, letting each slice stick out less than 1/4-inch from underneath the following slice. Once the outside of the dish has been lined with vegetables, repeat another layer inside, and continue until the dish is filled with patterned vegetables. All vegetables may not be needed.
Finely chop remaining rosemary, and sprinkle over top with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cut a piece of parchment paper to the size of the dish, place it on top of vegetables. Roast for 90 minutes, removing the parchment paper during the final 20 minutes of cooking.
Once vegetables are completely softened but still hold their shape, remove from the oven. Place a ring mold in the center of a large plate, and fill with vegetables stacked vertically in a ring (chopsticks help). Continue placing them vertically in a ring until mold is filled securely. Place a layer of vegetables staggered horizontally over top, and slowly remove ring mold.
Combine 1 tablespoon of the red pepper sauce from the bottom of the roaster with remaining olive oil, and drizzle in a circle around the outside of the vegetable stack. Garnish with torn parsley around the drizzle, place a chive on top and serve.
* If the sauce is too acidic, you can add a pinch of sugar to balance the acidity.
* Watch out if you’re using a blender or food processor to break up the sauce. Hot liquids will generate steam, do it in small batches or remove the blender’s center cap and cover with a towel.
* The mandoline is helpful for evenly slicing the vegetables. However tomatoes are a bit too delicate to use with it, and the eggplant might be the same as well so use your kitchen knife. Just watch your fingers if using the mandoline, wear cut-proof gloves if needed and never try to cut all the way down to the last bits of the vegetable.
* For the oven safe dish, I used a 11” enameled cast iron braiser, but you can use anything from a casserole dish, cast iron pan, oven-safe skillet, etc.
* If you don’t have a ring mold, I used the leftover foil from the pepper roasting step to fold a 3”-3.5”ring. Even a round cookie cutter works!
I don’t like eggplant. I didn’t like it even after I cooked it but it’s included in the recipe for authenticity’s sake. I’ll omit it next time I make this dish. Also I heard lots of people thought the dish was made with pepperoni or had some kind of meat. I will just say, give it a shot first with the recipe to get the proper flavor, then experiment next time!! You are the chef! Anyone can cook. :)
PHOTOS TO HELP!