Recipe by KissKiss
[Edit 3/24/08: After a couple bad (and unexplained) reviews, I think I should note that this recipe is NOT for novice cooks. It is quite labor intensive and requires a ton of prep work. I say this knowing that the end result is well worth it. Please do give it a try, if you're looking for a fabulous ratatouille.] My "meat-and-potatoes" husband never missed the meat or potatoes in this dinner, and my vegetarian friends were blown away when we served this at a dinner party (if you make it for a dinner party, either make it group effort or make it ahead of time). It's out of this world good - adapted from Gourmet. Tip: When heating the olive oil for each round of sauteing, do NOT let it get hot enough that it begins to smoke. Also, the wetness of the tomatoes can make the hot oil jump, so be careful when sauteing. I know this all sounds like a pain, but like I said, it's worth it.
- 1⁄2-3⁄4 cup olive oil
- 2 medium onions, sliced thin
- 1 cup gruyere cheese, grated (about 1/4 pound)
- 1 lb zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
- 1⁄2 cup loosely-packed fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 pinch cayenne
- 2 large red bell peppers, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch rings (cores and seeds discarded)
- 1 lb eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices (salted and set aside to rest for several minutes to drain on paper towels)
- 2 lbs plum tomatoes, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leave
- 1 cup coarse fresh breadcrumb
Directions See How It's Made
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a 12-inch non-stick skillet heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over moderate heat and cook the onions, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
- Spread onions in bottom of a 9 X 13 heavy casserole (preferrably enameled) and sprinkle evenly with 1/4 cup Gruyère.
- In the skillet heat 2 tablespoons remaining oil over medium-high heat until hot and sauté the zucchini in batches (adding some remaining oil if necessary), stirring, for 5 minutes per batch.
- Transfer the zucchini, as sautéed, with a slotted spoon to the casserole, spreading evenly, and top with some of the basil.
- Sprinkle zucchini layer with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a light sprinkling of cayenne.
- In the skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil over medium high heat until hot and sauté bell peppers, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes.
- Transfer peppers with a slotted spoon to casserole, spreading evenly, and top with some remaining basil.
- Sprinkle pepper layer with 1/2 teaspoon remaining salt and another light sprinkling of cayenne.
- In skillet heat 2 tablespoons remaining oil over medium-high heat until hot and sauté eggplant slices in one layer in batches, turning once, about 5 minutes. (Add about 1 tablespoon remaining oil per batch, if necessary, and heat until hot before adding each new eggplant batch.).
- Transfer eggplant slices, as sautéed, with slotted spoon to casserole and arrange in an even layer, overlapping slices.
- Top the eggplant layer with some remaining basil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon remaining salt and another light sprinkling of cayenne.
- In skillet heat 2 tablespoons remaining oil over medium-high heat until hot and sauté tomatoes in 2 batches, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.
- Transfer tomatoes, as sautéed, with slotted spoon to casserole and spread evenly. Top tomato layer with remaining basil.
- Sprinkle tomatoes with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, remaining cayenne, remaining Gruyère, and thyme and top with bread crumbs.
- Cover casserole with foil or a lid and bake in middle of oven 30 minutes. Remove foil or lid and bake 30 minutes or until bread crumbs are golden.
- Ratatouille Terrine may be made 1 day ahead and chilled, covered. Serve warm or at room temperature (warm recommended). Nicely paired with Lemon and Basil Spaghetti.