“If you are what you eat, then I only want to eat the good stuff.” I am sure that most of you remember these wise words of one of my most favourite Disney characters – Remy, from the movie Ratatouille. Christmas time is slowly passing by and our bellies start calling for “menu revolution.” After too much of sugar, wheat and milk we consumed during Christmas feast, there is nothing better than vegetables to cleanse our body system, mainly liver and colon. This time, I inspired by the traditional French recipe, that made us all drooling in front of our TVs while watching little rat Remy cooking it, and I decided to share with you the recipe of this delicious and healthy meal.
What do we need?
2 celery (I couldn’t find them in the supermarket, but it tastes much better with them!)
2 chilli peppers
1 Tbsp of salt and olive oil
1 Tbsp of minced garlic
1 Yellow pepper
1 Red pepper
1 Green pepper
800 g peeled tomatoes
1 tsp of herbs de Provence
6 basil leaves
2 yellow squash (I couldn’t find them in the supermarket, but I advise you to use them)
2 zucchinis (If you have smaller pan, even 1 is enough)
6 roma tomatoes
Olive oil dressing:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp of minced garlic
1 tsp of thyme leaves-chopped
How to prepare?
1. Let’s start with veggies
2. Char green, yellow and red pepper over the flame of your cooker, so they take on a wonderful, smoky flavour
3. Once they are roasted, put them into a bowl and cover them with a plastic wrap and let them steam for about 15-20 minutes
4. Meanwhile, chop carrots, celery and onions into small cubes
Don’t be misled by the picture and don’t forget to add celery!!
5. Slice zucchinis, yellow squash, eggplants and tomatoes into very thin circles
Put the eggplants slices on the wider plate, salt them and they will release some water. Pat them dry with a paper towel in some 15 minutes.
6. After 15-20 minutes, open up the peppers, take the skin and seeds out and chop them
7. Sauté carrots, celery, onion on olive oil and butter mixture, on high heat for 10 minutes, then add garlic and cook for 3 more minutes.
8. Stir in chopped tomatoes
9. Add herbs de Provence and cook for about 20 minutes
10. Mix the sauce with basil leaves into a veggie purée
11. Pour it back to the pan
12. Prepare an olive oil dressing: (2 Tbsp of Olive Oil, 1 tsp of minced garlic, 1 tsp of thyme leaves-chopped)
13. Now, it’s time for fun! Arrange the slices of zucchini, eggplant, squash and tomatoes into a circle
14. Add salt, pepper and olive oil dressing on the top
15. Cover the pan with foil, put it into oven and cook it slowly for 3 hours on 140 Celsius degrees/ 280 F
16. After 3 hours, remove the foil and roast it for another 45 minutes on 180 Celsius degrees/ 350 F
(You don’t have to roast it immediately after baking, you can do it even the next day, but keep the 45 minutes time limit)
17. I decided to serve it with garlic spelt bread, which I gently roasted in olive oil on the pan
- This recipe is quite time consuming, so I advise you to wake up a bit earlier if you plan to prepare it for your Sunday lunch
- Slice the zucchinis, eggplants, squash and tomatoes into as tiny slices as possible
- The bigger the pan, the better
- When mixing the purée, try to leave some pieces of veggies in it (don’t mix it into a veggie liquid)
- You can add some cheese on the top if you wish
Doesn’t it look like a heaven on the plate? And it tastes even better! Prepare a healthy time for you family and friends (or just for yourself) and feed your tummy with vitamins, minerals and many wonderful colours. In the end, what else is more important than painting the plate of your life with lots of colours?
Bon appétit !
Recipe: Bruno Albouze