Spicy Ratatouille in Puff Pastry
Updated: Mar 8, 2020
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
One large eggplant chopped into 1- inch cubes
One yellow onion, peeled and chopped finely
Two medium zucchini quartered lengthwise, chopped into 1-inch pieces
Two small zucchini quartered lengthwise, chopped into 1-inch pieces
One red bell pepper stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 to 4 cloves smoked garlic (regular is fine, too)
Two large tomatoes, seeded and quartered
1 TB tomato paste
1tsp Piment d'espelette powder
1/4 cup slivered basil
Two sprigs of fresh thyme
Two sheets of Puff Pastry (keep cold until ready to assemble)
1. Place eggplant and zucchini in separate bowls and toss with one teaspoon of salt. Put them in colanders and let drain for 30 minutes. Brush with a paper towel slightly.
2. Place one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet. Once sizzling, add the eggplant and saute until golden for 10 -13 minutes. Remove from pan and sprinkle a little salt and pepper and set aside.
3. Add a tablespoon of oil to the pan. When sizzling, add onions and sauté until translucent. Remove and pour atop the eggplant in the bowl.
4. Add a mounded teaspoon of oil to the skillet and sauté the zucchini until lightly browned roughly ten minutes. Transfer to the pot with the onions and eggplant. Next, add a mounded teaspoon of oil and saute the red peppers approximately ten minutes until golden. Transfer to the pot.
5. On low heat, add remaining oil to the skillet and sauté garlic for one minute. Add the diced tomatoes, the tomato paste, piment d'espelette powder, basil paste, piment d'espelette powder, basil and thyme. Give it a good stir pressing down on the tomatoes to release juice. Simmer until slightly thickened for ten minutes approximately.
6. Transfer all ingredients to a large pot over low heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Taste and adjust your seasoning.
7. Roll the puff pastry out and with a 4 to 5 inch round cookie cutter or a knife, cut pieces until you've used all of your pastry. Place rounds onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
Make sure they are still cold. If not, put into the freezer for a few minutes.
8. Once the ratatouille has slightly cooled, mound spoonfuls onto half the rounds. Take the empty rounds and cover each ratatouille-lined pastry. Using the egg-white, pinch the pieced together forming a seal. Once completed, place lined pastries into the freezer for a few more minutes. (If you have extra pastry dough left, you can cut out decorative shapes, such as leaves and adhere to the pastry.
9. Using a brush or your fingertips, brush egg yolk over the pastries.
10. Place into a 400 Degree Fahrenheit oven for 20 - 30 minutes.
My belle-mere (mother-in-law in French) taught me this although I added a few ingredients, such as the spice. It is important to cook each ingredient so you don't overcook it to a mush. You can also adjust the seasoning to your liking. My husband doesn't like too much garlic; hence my slight hand of that ingredient.