Ratatouille (Confit Byaldi)

This elegant and flavorful dish screams summer, featuring the very best of the season's harvest.  It is a bit involved, but the beautiful and absolutely delicious results can't be beat.  Bonus: it is the recipe on which the famous name-sake dish in the movie Ratatouille is based, so your kids might actually love it too!

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  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1.5 Large Mixed Color Bell Peppers (halved, seeds and ribs removed). If mini bell peppers use 6.
  • 0.5 cup Yellow Onion (finely chopped)
  • 12 ounce Heirloom Tomatoes (seeded and finely chopped, juices reserved - see note)
  • 1 sprig + .5 teaspoon Thyme
  • 1 sprig Parsley
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Green Zucchini (thinly sliced, preferably using a mandolin)
  • 1 Gold Zucchini (thinly sliced, preferably using a mandolin)
  • 1 Japanese Eggplant (thinly sliced, preferably using a mandolin)
  • 3 Heirloom Tomatoes (thinly sliced)
  • 1.5 tablespoon Garlic (minced)
  • 4 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Vinegar (Balsamic or similar)
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Kosher Salt
Directions
  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place pepper halves on a foil-lined sheet, cut side down. Roast until skin loosens (it will start to blister), about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven, and once cool, peel and finely chop.
  2. Combine 2 tablespoons of oil, 1 teaspoon garlic, and onion in an oven-proof 8" skillet over low heat until very soft, but not browned.
  3. Add the seeded and finely chopped tomato (12 oz) and their juices, 1 thyme sprig, parsley, and bay leaf, and simmer over low heat until very soft and very little liquid remains. Try to avoid browning. This can take more than 10 minutes - be patient!
  4. Add the roasted and chopped peppers and then simmer until they're soft. Season to taste with salt, and remove the bay leaf and herbs.
  5. Reserve 1 tablespoon of this piperade mixture for later.
  6. Heat the oven to 275 degrees.
  7. Down center of skillet, arrange a strip of 8 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 pan is filled; all vegetables may not be needed.
  8. Mix remaining 1/2 teaspoon garlic, 1 tablespoon of oil, and 1/4 teaspoon of thyme leaves in bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle over vegetables.
  9. Cover pan with foil and crimp edges to seal well. Bake until vegetables are tender when tested with a paring knife, about 1.5-2 hours.
  10. Uncover and bake for 30 minutes more. (Lightly cover with foil if it starts to brown.) At this point it may be cooled, covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days. Serve cold or reheat in 350-degree oven until warm.
  11. For vinaigrette, combine reserved 1 tablespoon piperade, 1 tablespoon of oil, 1 teaspoon of vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves, and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl.
  12. To serve, heat broiler and place ratatouille underneath until lightly browned. Slice in quarters and very carefully lift onto plate with offset spatula. Turn spatula 90 degrees, guiding ratatouille into fan shape. Drizzle vinaigrette around plate. Serve hot.
  13. Note: To seed the tomatoes and retain the juice, quarter the tomato and then remove the seeds over a fine mesh strainer sitting over a bowl to catch the juice.
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