Ratatouille Stacks

Based on and inspired by some great versions of ratatouille niçoise, I tried to recreate those strong flavours of the stewed vegetables while also adding a few extra complimentary touches that both fortify the French flavours and add a touch of Italian influence.


Placing the ingredients into a stack, provides a nice visual presentation and offers guests a lovely gift of flavours hidden in a wrapped present on the plate.

Note: I know I said I don’t want to put posts up until after I have cooked and photographed them, but due to a change in plans for the way my weekend was meant to pave out, I will be cooking in a foreign kitchen and will not be able to access the net beyond my phone’s capabilities until late Saturday night or early Sunday morning. Thus, I will place the recipes up live now and will return to remove this message and add the photos (along with any further notes or modifications) over the weekend.

Ingredients:

  • Vegetables:
    • 4 medium aubergines
    • 4 large zucchini
    • 1 red Capsicum (bell pepper)
    • 1 green Capsicum (bell pepper)
    • 1 yellow Capsicum (bell pepper)
    • 1 head fennel
    • 2 onions – peeled/sliced
    • 3 garlic cloves – crushed and chopped
    • 3 tomatoes – peeled, seeded and cut into 8
  • Thyme seasoning mix:
    • 3 tsp thyme leaves
    • 2 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • 10 crushed coriander seeds
  • Zest mix:
    • 1 small lemon zest
    • 10 basil leaves, finely chopped
    • 10 black olives, stoned, finely chopped
    • 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tbsp of red wine
    • Small (4g/0.1 oz) finely grated black truffle
      [OR replace 1 tbsp of Olive oil for one of Truffle oil]
    • Small handful flat-leafed parsley, finely chopped

Method:

  • Prepare Eggplant and Zuchinni
    • Take an eggplant, stand it upright, slice down each edge of the vegetable, removing the skin and about 3mm of flesh, no more. Repeat with the Zuchinni.
    • Slice the remaining innards into round slices.
    • Keep the slices of aubergine and courgette separate.
  • Prepare Fennel:
    • Cut the top and bottom off the fennel and remove the outer layer.
    • As you remove the layers underneath, you will be left with v shaped pieces of fennel.
    • Cut each in half, and cut into 3mm cubes.
  • Preheat the grill.
  • Prepare Capsicum
    • Top and tail the capsicum and remove the pith and seeds.
    • Rub them with olive oil and place skin-side up on the grill tray.
    • Grill until they go black all over amd when blackened, place in a bowl and cover tightly with cling film. Leave to steam for ~ five minutes.
    • Remove the capsicum and peel them by running under cold water and rubbing the skin off. Once peeled, Cut each slice into 3mm cubes.
  • Have ready a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl
  • Cook Vegetables:
    • Heat a large frying pan and add 2mm of olive oil to pan. When hot, add the eggplants, one layer at a time. Cook for three minutes then tip into sieve allowing it to drain.
    • Season with ~ 1/2 tsp of thyme mix. When drained, tip into a bowl.
    • Repeat the process with zucchini (on a lower heat).
    • Cook for two minutes, drain and season.
    • Cook the fennel for five to six minutes (you do not want to under cook the fennel, you do not want it to be crunchy)
    • Sauté the onion and garlic on a low heat until translucent. Remove from heat and set aside.
    • Place tomatoes into the same frying pan and stir until cooked to a medium softness.
  • Prepare stacks
    • In a bowl, place the Capsicum, tomatoes, fennel, onion, garlic, the zest and the remaining thyme mixes and stir well.
    • Place 4 greased food rings on a lightly greased sheet of baking paper on an oven tray.
    • Alternate overlapping layers of eggplant and zucchini skins by placing them in a centred “U” shape across the bottom of the rim with the edges trailing up each side of the rim.
    • Then, place the aubergine rounds at the bottom, fill with the vegetable mix and top with the zucchini rounds.
    • Place the rings in a preheated 180*C oven for 20 minutes.
  • Once cooked, cut the baking paper around each ring
  • pick up the ring with a spatula from under the baking paper and place onto the plate
  • Slide the paper out from under the ring and then gently remove the ring
  • serve on it’s own, atop some rice or alongside some osso bucco
Variations and Notes:
  • None to report at this stage
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Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 thoughts on “Ratatouille Stacks

  1. […] level of stewed vegetables that make up many osso bucco recipes as I plan to serve this with a Ratatouille Stack. Note: I know I said I don’t want to put posts up until after I have cooked and photographed […]

  2. […] like the  samfaina or fried like tombet … the versions are endless. Heck, I even made a stack version a while […]

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