The french dish Ratatouille is a variation of similar dishes from the mediterranean, you can have it as a main or side dish, for breakfast, lunch or dinner. At The Real Food Academy, we like this dish not only for its rich taste but also because is nutritous and fun to make! Kids and adults like building this casserole style dish either family style or in ramekins. In the instructions, you will find terms such as concasse
, these are technical terms for peeled and seeded tomatoes and thinlly sliced herbs. Follow the notes in the recipe so you can concasse your fresh tomatoes to perfection and chiffonade your basil like a pro! Bon appetite!
Using a mandolin or very sharp knife, slice fresh tomatoes, squash, zucchini and eggplant as thinly as possible. Less than 1/8 an inch if possible. Sprinkle with salt, oregano and a dash of pepper.
In a skillet add olive oil, onions, garlic and shallots over low-medium heat. Cook until soft, 7-9 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, carrots, marjoram, thyme, and bay leaf. Simmer for 10 minutes, lower heat and add peppers. Cook just long enough to combine the flavors. Remove from heat and discard bay leaf. In either the skillet you cooked the sauce or a round/oval casserole dish (8-10 inches), spread the sauce evenly.
Building the Ratatouille: On your prepared oval casserole or skillet, lay a layer of your sliced Zucchini, eggplant, tomatoes, and squash. Keep going until either you have used all the vegetables, or the pan is filled.
Cover with a lid or foil and bake at 350 F for 40 minutes. Remove lid and return to oven for another 10 minutes. This dish can be made a day ahead, so either cover and store or broil for 10-15 minutes until it just starts to brown. Serve from dish hot or cold.
When serving: top with either fresh Basil chiffonade or Basil Pesto!
For tomato concasse:
1. With a pairing knife, cut a cross in the bottom part of the tomato. Cut only the skin, make sure is a superficial cut. Now cut out the top part of the tomato: you should have a small cone shaped piece after removing it.
2. Place water and ice in a bowl(large enough to accommodate all of your tomatoes). Reserve.
3. Boil water and drop in your tomatoes for 15 seconds. Take them out quickly and drop them in the ice bath(do not leave theme here for more than 30 seconds), proceed to peel them, cut them by half, take all the seeds out.
1. Place 4-6 Basil leafs on top of each other and roll together. Thinly slice about 1/16 of an inch.