Ratatouille

Ratatouille is a French Vegetable Dish that became famous through the Disney Movie with the same name.

Ingredients

  • Serves: 3-4
  • Olive oil
  • 1 Red onion
  • 200 g potatoes
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 aubergine
  • 2 big tomatoes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 400 ml water
  • 2 tins of tomatoes
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • Basil to garnish

Directions

Preheat the oven for 375˚F (190˚C).

Slice the red onion, courgette, aubergine, potoatoes, big tomatoes into approximately ¹⁄₁₆-inch (1-mm) rounds, then set aside. Place the potatoes in a bowl cold water for a while to get the starch out. You can even precook the potatoeslices for about 10 minutes to shorten the bakingtime of the Ratatouille in oven later. Take out and put on a papertowel and pat dry before assembling the ratatouille. (I didn´t have tomatoes so I made without).

Rost the bell peppers in the oven on a baking sheet until they have some color. Take out and take the skin off.

If you have fresh tomatoes skin the tomatoes. To do that cut a cross in one end. Put them in boiling water for a minute. Take out and place in a bowl with icecold water (put icecubes in). Then it is really easy to remove the skin.

Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch (30-cm) oven-safe pan over medium-high heat. Cut the yellow onion, carrot, bell peppers, garlic into small pieces. Sauté the garlic, carrot, onion and bell peppers until soft, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, than add the crushed tomatoes. Stir until the ingredients are fully incorporated. Let the sauce zimmer for about 20 minutes. Remove from heat, than add the basil. Stir once more, than mix in a mixer.

If you want to make it really authentic make a Bouquet garni with the herbs before adding in the sauce and zimmering.

Bouquet garni

Bouquet garni, which is French for “garnished bouquet,” is a classic herb mixture used for preparing stocks, soups, casseroles, meats, and vegetables. The traditional combination is parsley, thyme, and bay leaf, but you may find recipes that include other herbs such as rosemary, basil, chervil, peppercorn, and tarragon. You can make bouquet garni with fresh or dried herbs. If the herbs are fresh, the combination is secured with a bit of cooking twine, while cheesecloth is generally used to wrap the dried herbs, and the bundle is secured with twine. You can also use a teasif.

Using a bouquet garni instead of simply adding the herbs to your dish helps with flavor, texture, convenience, and presentation. Fresh herbs will get soggy and often discolor when left to cook for a long time, and dry herbs are not the most attractive when floating at the top of a finished dish. Bundling up the herbs—whether dried or fresh—also makes for easy removal.

If you would like to use fresh herbs in your bouquet garni, an ideal combination is 4 or 5 sprigs of parsley, 1 or 2 sprigs of thyme, and 1 bay leaf. Gather the parsley and thyme sprigs, place the bay leaf on top, and use a piece of kitchen twine to bind it all together, keeping one piece of the string long enough so you can easily pull out the herb bundle.

Prepare the Ratatouille for the oven

Pour the sauce in a baking pan and smooth the surface of the sauce with a spatula.

Arrange the sliced veggies in alternating patterns, (for example, aubergine, tomato, zucchini, red onion, potatoe) on top of the sauce from the outer edge to the middle of the pan. Season with salt and pepper.

You can even place a bouquet garni in the pan for more taste.

Make the herb seasoning: In a small bowl, mix together the basil, garlic, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Spoon the herb seasoning over the vegetables.

Cover the pan with foil or parchment paper (make a small hole in the middle for steam to go out and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover, than bake for another 20 minutes, until the vegetables are softened.

Serve while hot as a main dish or side. The ratatouille is also excellent the next day–cover with foil and reheat in a 350˚F (180˚C) oven for 15 minutes, or simply microwave to desired temperature.

To garnish, pluck the basil leaves off the stalk and add to your ratatouille.

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