Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ratatouille: Layered and Baked with Goat Cheese and Bread Crumbs

Ahh I am reveling in the fact that I am DONE school! My brain and body have been so exhausted but what was one of the first things I wanted to do to celebrate? Cook of course! I was supposed to go out out downtown to celebrate but cancelled in favor of staying in to cook with good friends, good food and a bottle of wine! Here I go with the local again: local bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini, onions, garlic, basil, goat cheese and a rustic country loaf from the Trout Farmers Market, as well some delish sausage from Oyama Sausage company on Granville Island. In the more non-traditional way we layered the veggies, made a chunky tomato bell pepper sauce and topped it with a feta, goat cheese bread crumb topping. Also don't forget that good crusty bread is KEY for mopping up all the saucy goodness. Such good comfort food I tell you! Oh and yea yea, make fun if you will but of course we watched Ratatouille while we cooked!
I flew back to Calgary today to visit the fam and loved this meal so much I had to make it again. Anybody that knows me knows I do not travel light...(this is where my pops reads this and shakes his head because he has sworn never to travel to Europe with my mom and I ever again! Possibly a contributing factor was the extra suitcase we had to buy in Italy for my aged balsamic, truffled honey, foie gras and olive oils?!) I swear I try, I really do mean to pack light...but this time I neeeded to bring this stuff home...! Yes, that meant I lugged home canned San Marzano tomatoes, wine from a local berry farm, fantastic rustic country bread and a baguette, heirloom tomatoes, purple carrots, zucchini, peaches, cherries, roasted hazelnuts, 49th parallel coffee and Oyama sausages. If you could have only seen me with my bags at the airport this morning and of course the damn siren went off because my suitcase was overweight! The Air Canada girl looked up at me, saw my alarmed face, took pity on me and let the bag keep on goin....Thank youuu Air Canada girl! You think I was going to a land with no food but seriously, B.C is where its at!
Above: zucchini layer of the Ratatouille

Below: round 2 of Ratatouille w/Oyama Sausage (lamb and date, lamb and feta and Italian pork and one of the reasons why my luggage was overweight including the ice packs I had to pack it with...)

2 bell peppers (I used red and yellow)
1/2 onion
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes (I used San Marzano)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
sugar (to taste)
1/2 tsp chili flakes
s+p (to taste)
2 zucchini, sliced
1 eggplant, sliced
1 small pkg goat cheese
1/2 cup feta
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan

1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2.In a pot saute onions until soft and translucent, add in bell peppers, cook till soft then add garlic. Add tomatoes and reduce down until it becomes thick. Add in basil and rosemary, season with s+p, chili flakes and sugar to your liking.
3. Layer starting with tomato bell pepper mixture,then eggplant, then zucchini then more sauce, repeat ending in sauce.
4. Sprinkle with feta and goat cheese then mix together parmesan and breadcrumbs and sprinkle on very top. Bake until golden brown and bubbly, approx 30-40 minutes. Serve hot, room temp or cold.

1 comment:

Patricia Scarpin said...

Oh, Laura - you took something delicious already and took it to a whole new level! I love veggies and goats cheese...