stephanie seldom requests a specific food she wants me to make. but yesterday, during breakfast, she produced a cookbook with paper-clipped pages of wished-for recipes. one, ratatouille, was what she wanted to eat tonight.
now, in my food-mind ratatouille is mostly a mess, usually a collaboration of sorts between rough-chopped late summer vegetables, mostly tomatoes with garlic, onions, zucchini, eggplant, and peppers done up in olive oil, basically a french side concoction. a quick check with julia showed her preference for a layered approach both in cooking as well as in presentation. still, visually, a mess. on further research i found a like dish, confit bayaldi, in ‘cuisine minceur’. even more detailed was the version of thomas keller's, where the vegetables would be sliced in thin, even rounds and cooked on a reduction of finely chopped peppers, maui onions, roma tomatoes, roast garlic, and thyme.
cuisine minceur, incidentally, was conceived by michel guerard as a slimmer notion of traditional nouvelle cuisine. most likely because his number one suggested he’d lose some weight before she would have him. ah, well, anywhichway, the ‘byaldi’ i’m making for my dish tonight is a like variant to please her, so i too can be had.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/13/dining/131rrex.html, this is a recipe from the times. on the then occasion of not much of a movie with a rat, called (naturally) ratatouille.
my little picture is pretty close to the recipe, excepting the use of multicolored peppers. i found yellow ones and used those throughout. the peppers are peeled and only used in the piperade, so it won’t make much of a difference.
oh, and another thing: i like my garlic roasted, not cooked. i think it mellows the dish a wee bit, but go right ahead, follow the recipe, if you disagree. at my house the garlic is most always roasted.
oh, and another oh: these are my number one cutting and slicing utensils. yes, these are ceramic blades and incredibly sharp. first time i sliced paper thin potatoes i cut off the tip of my thumb. the cut was so clean and it happened so fast i only noticed my dilemma, when i saw the potatoes turn red.