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Old 08-20-2006, 04:44 PM   #1
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Ratatouille - too soft

I lost a recipe that I had for ratatouille, so I winged it. Needless to say it came out too soft. I roasted the eggplant with a bit of oil on it, roasted the red and green bell peppers, and some roasted garlic. I sauteed the onion, zuccini, and summmer squash, and then added some fresh roma tomatoes to cook for a short time. I added basil and oregano.

Does anyone have a better recipe?

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Old 08-20-2006, 04:58 PM   #2
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What was too soft? Mine is "soft".
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Old 08-20-2006, 05:06 PM   #3
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The vegetables that I roasted (eggplant, and peppers) were too soft. I know ratatouille is suppose to be somewhat soft, but these veggies are too soft. I guess I over roasted them a bit. So is your recipe about the same as mine? Right now I have it chilling in the fridge until tomorrow, hoping the flavors will blend and it will taste good tomorrow.
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Old 08-20-2006, 05:10 PM   #4
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Amber, are you looking for the vegetables to have more of that initial slight firmness when you first bite into them? Basically, you already know what you did which was roasting them for too long. Next time, just cut down the cooking time by maybe 10-15 minutes, and at that point determine the texture and see how much longer you want to cook the vegetables for.
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Old 08-20-2006, 05:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironchef
Amber, are you looking for the vegetables to have more of that initial slight firmness when you first bite into them? Basically, you already know what you did which was roasting them for too long. Next time, just cut down the cooking time by maybe 10-15 minutes, and at that point determine the texture and see how much longer you want to cook the vegetables for.
Yes, I was hoping for a slightly firm texture. The recipe I found online called for the vegetables to be roasted at 450 degrees, for 15 minutes, and I found the eggplant was still too firm, so I let it cook another 5 or 10 minutes. I should have known better, because they will continue to cook awhile after removing them from the oven. Hopefully it will still taste good.
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Old 08-20-2006, 05:55 PM   #6
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Amber, I don't roast my vegetable for Ratatouille, and most of the ones I've eaten in Provence (where the dish originated) aren't made with roasted veggies, either. I do, however, add the veggies in "layers," so they are at different levels of softness, with the zucchini being the firmest, when the dish is finished. Ratatouille is one of my favorite summer foods. I like to use it as the condiment in an Italian Sausage sandwich, instead of the trad onions and peppers...

Ratatouille
(Provençal Vegetable Stew)

This is my personal favorite version of Ratatouille (the classic Provençal vegetable stew) that has evolved over many years. This recipe makes far more than 6 servings, but you won’t mind because it's good so many ways, and keeps so well in the fridge. You can serve it hot, cold or at room temperature. It makes a delicious hors d'oeuvre on a slice of toasted baguette; an innovative first course or salad, when plated on a lettuce leaf; a delectable topping for pasta or a baked potato. On its own, it is a marvelous accompaniment to any roasted or grilled meat or fish.

makes 5 quarts

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 red onions, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves peeled and chopped
3 large eggplants, peeled and cubed
4 zucchini, well scrubbed
2 green peppers seeded and cut in cubes
2 sweet red peppers, seeded and cubed
5 ripe tomatoes peeled and diced
5 anchovy fillets, well drained and finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and well drained

1. Heat the oil in a 9-to 10-quart pot. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is translucent. Meanwhile, peel and cube the eggplant. Using a vegetable peeler, peel stripes in the zucchini skins. Slice diagonally in large chunks.
2. Add the eggplant and green and red peppers to the pot, cover and cook slowly about 1 hour.
3. Add the tomatoes, squash and anchovies. Simmer uncovered over medium low heat until the mixture is thick. This may take a couple of hours. Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste. Add capers during the last fifteen (15) minutes of cooking. The mixture should cook until the vegetables seem to have melted together. Serve hot or cold.
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Old 08-20-2006, 05:56 PM   #7
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I am sure it will taste good 'cause mine does!!! ;o) I have never fixed it so it was "firm". Mine would make a great pasta sauce, or as I did the other evening, topped with cheese and baked.
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Old 08-20-2006, 06:01 PM   #8
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I agree with you, Gretchen.. mine is always mostly pretty soft... I love it..

I think there is no limit to the ways you can serve Ratatouille!
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Old 08-20-2006, 06:06 PM   #9
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If you really want it to be al dente, I suggest you stir fry the components. I have been having great success with squash this summer doing that. You can roast the eggplant so it doesn't soak up all the oil in the bucket!! Then put them all together with the tomatoes and heat.
The last couple I have made I did roast the veggies--it's good too. June is right--it's the combo of ingredients and then you can do your will with them.
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Old 08-21-2006, 03:32 AM   #10
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I don't roast the veg for ratatouille either. I use the method ChefJ suggests. I love it with lots of things - but especially with a jacket potato for lunch. (now thinks to herself: do Americans call them jacket potatoes too, or do they have a different name?!)
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