verrine de ratatouille Niçoise chantilly citron
So, I tried this recipe in the spirit of the challenge and I have to say that it is not my favourite thing so far. Served chilled, it just does not work for me but that’s not saying that it wont work for you (to be fair it is winter here and about 6 degrees, so perhaps as a summer entrée it would be more enjoyable). So, if chilled ratatouille sounds like your thing, have a go at this recipe from Gabriel Gaté and the team at Taste le Tour.
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 tbsp chopped thyme
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 1 red capsicum, diced
- 1 green capsicum, diced
- 1 medium eggplant, diced
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- freshly ground pepper
- 3 tomatoes (deseeded and chopped)
- 1 cup crème fraîche
- ½ lemon, juiced
- 2 tbsp diced, pitted black olives (although I used kalamata as i had these on hand)
- 6 Niçoise or Ligurian olives (again, I used kalamata)
This recipe is actually quite easy and comes together quite quickly. It does require a fair bit of chopping though, so sharpen your favourite knife and set to work.
First of all I sliced and diced my way through all the vegetables, thyme and garlic, leaving the eggplant (aubergine) until last as it will brown quickly once you cut it and expose the flesh to the air. Try to keep the veggies evenly sized so they cook evenly (and it looks prettier!)
Heat up some olive oil in a pan on a medium heat. Use the biggest pan you have. The vegetables are quite bulky to begin with although they do collapse as they soften. Start by frying off the onion with the thyme and when this has softened throw in the garlic as well.
Now begin adding your vegetables. Dont throw these all in at once as some will take a little longer to cook through than others. Start with the capsicums and cook these for a few minutes, then add in the eggplant and stir through. After a minute or so, add the zucchini and then season with salt and pepper. Leave this to cook for a few minutes while you prepare the tomatoes (great tip from Gabriel on how to deseed these quickly – simply cut in half and squeeze the seeds out).
Add the diced tomatoes and cook the vegetables down for 10-15 minutes. I put a lid over the pan so the mix did not dry out too much, but not sure if this is right (although it worked for me!). You’ll notice that the veggies start to soften and collapse bit by bit. Give it the occasional stir to make sure it does not stick.
When everything has softened, take it off the heat and transfer to a bowl. Place this in the fridge to chill and start work on the chantilly. To do this, put the crème fraîche into a bowl with a bit of salt and pepper and beat with an electric beater for a minute or so until slightly thickened. Then add a squeeze of lemon juice and beat again until firm. Set this aside while the ratatouille cools.
To serve, place the chilled ratatouille into 6 clear glasses (whisky glasses work well) and top with some chopped black olives. On top of this dollop (or pipe if you want to be fancy) some of the lemon chantilly and finish with an olive on top. Enjoy!