"Last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source." - Anton Ego
This is the actual recipe that inspired the animators of the movie Ratatouille and was published in the New York Times. It was originally cooked by Thomas Keller.
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).
- Slice zucchini, eggplant, summer squash, and tomatoes into thin (1/16 inch) rounds.
- Arrange rounds on top of the piperade mixture in the 8-inch pan. Rounds should overlap as in the pictures above and alternate in the order: tomato, summer squash, zucchini, eggplant.
- Continue until the pan has been filled with vegetables.
- Pour spoonfuls of vinaigrette evenly over the pan.
- Cover the entire pan with foil, and seal.
- Cook until soft (about 2 hours).
- Remove the foil from the pan and bake for 30 minutes more. (If the dish has become juicy, heat on medium-low until the juices have evaporated.)
- Place the pan under a heated broiler until browning occurs.
- Using a spatula, serve a quarter portion of the dish to each guest.
- As you serve, rotate the spatula in a right angle to guide the vegetable rounds into the shape of a fan.
- Using a spoon, dribble some of the extra vinaigrette around the byaldi for a gourmet finish.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (232 degrees C).
- Remove the seeds and ribs from the pepper halves.
- Place pepper halves cut side down on a foil-lined sheet.
- Cook in oven until skin begins to peel (about 15 minutes).
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Meanwhile, heat oil, garlic, and onion in a saucepan over low heat (about 8 minutes).
- Add diced tomatoes, thyme, parsley, and bay leaf.
- Cook over low heat until mixture is soft but has not browned, and most of the liquid has evaporated (about 10 minutes).
- Peel and mince pepper halves, and add to saucepan.
- Cook until mixture is softened through.
- Remove herbs from mixture and season with salt.
- Set aside one tablespoon of piperade for vinaigrette.
- Spoon the rest of the piperade into an 8-inch pan. Spread to cover the bottom of the pan.
- In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Set aside.