Ratatouille a la Remy (Confit Byaldi by Thomas Keller)
Ratatouille! Before I dive into the lists of new recipes I’m dying to try, I wanted to transfer over the ‘Ratatouille a la Remy’ I made almost two years ago from my tumblr. Inspired by Pixar one night I did a bit of research to find that the Ratatouille in the movie is not the French classic, but a reimagining by Thomas Keller called ‘Confit Byaldi.’ Classically ratatouille featured roughly cut vegetables that were fried then baked, and plated as a stew. Thomas Kellers ‘byaldi’ variation for ‘The French Laundry Cookbook” features vegetables in thin slices, adds a piperade (tomato & bellpeper sauce) at the bottom, a vinaigrette at the top, and serves the dish by fanning the vegetables out accordion-style. Thomas Keller, that fancy guy.
This was one of the most exhaustingly involved recipes I’ve ever followed, but it also yields one of the best dishes I’ve ever cooked! Although the prep work is hugely time consuming (grab some wine and you’ll be fine), to cook it only involves baking it and allowing it to rest overnight. In theory, very simple. **While the resulting dish is meant to be an entree, you may want to prepare some sides to make the meal a bit heartier. I suggest toasted baguette as a side, or you could serve it topped with goat cheese over a bed of couscous. The flavors intensify the longer it sits, so leftover veggie sandwiches are strongly encouraged.
- 2 red bellpepper- seeds and ribs removed
- 2 tbsp EVOO
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 cup finely diced yellow onion
- 12oz tomatoes- peeled, seeded, finely diced, juices reserved
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 sprig flat-leaf parsley
- 1/2 bay leaf
- salt to taste
- 1 green zucchini (4oz)- thinly sliced
- 1 yellow zucchini (4oz)- thinly sliced
- 1 japanese eggplant (4oz)- thinly sliced
- 4 tomatoes- thinly sliced
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp EVOO
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For piperade, heat oven to 450*F. Place pepper halves (cut side down) on a foil-lined tray. Roast until skin loosens, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest until cool enough to handle. Peel and chop finely.
- Combine oil, garlic, and onion in medium skillet over low heat until very soft but not browned, about 8 minutes. Add tomatoes, their juices, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf. Simmer over low heat until very soft and very little liquid remains, about 10 minutes, do not brown; add peppers and simmer to soften them. Season to taste with salt, and discard all herbs.
- Heat oven to 275*f. Spread piperade in bottom of an 8-inch baking dish or casserole dish.
- From the side of dish, arrange a strip of alternating slices of vegetables over piperade, overlapping so that 1/4 inch of each slice is exposed. Around the center strip, overlap vegetables in a close spiral that lets slices mound slightly toward center. Repeat until dish is filled. You may have remaining vegetables.
- Mix garlic, oil, and thyme leaves in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle over vegetables. Cover pan with foil and crime edges to seal well. Bake until vegetables are tender when tested with a paring knife, about 2 hours. Uncover and bake for 30 minutes more. If there is excess liquid in pan, place over medium heat on stove until reduced. Do not allow to brown.
- For vinaigrette, take a tablespoon of piperade from the baking dish, combine with oil, vinegar, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl.
- To serve, heat broiler and place byaldi underneath until lightly browned. Slice in quarters and carefully lift onto plate with offset spatula. Turn spatula 90 degrees, guiding byaldi into a fan shape. Drizzle vinaigrette around plate. Serve hot. Tada!!!!!
Note: Seriously, use a mandolin to slice the vegetables. 1/16inch thinness is preferred. Ages best over night– the time to do this is after step 5 and can store in the fridge for up to two nights before continuing on.