Saturday, July 21, 2012

Deconstructed ratatouille

To go along with the leg of lamb we decided to make ratatouille, but I wanted to use the barbecue to roast the vegetables rather than cooking them on the stove, so stopping me from slaving over a hot stove on a very hot day. I bought the mini peppers which are so prevalent here at the moment, they are so sweet and full of flavour, and I wanted to serve them whole. So we came up with the idea of just combining the ingredients that usually make up ratatouille and calling it deconstructed, which is very trendy these days.  Never let it be said that I am not on the cutting edge of food trends.

To feed 13

2 bags of mini peppers
1 large eggplant sliced
4 zucchini sliced
20 small tomatoes halved

First I roasted the mini peppers whole, until they were slightly charred but not too much.

Then I grilled each of the other vegetables in turn finishing with the tomatoes.

I cooked the tomatoes until the skins were wrinkling away from the rest of the tomato.  Each vegetable in turn was added to the salad bowl.

Until all the vegetables were cooked.

Then I added some fresh chopped basil, thyme and parsley and tossed with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. So at the end of the day, it was cross between ratatouille and roast vegetable salad.  But it did go very well with the lamb.  I also made a warm potato salad with some local new potatoes, tossed in olive oil, white wine vinegar, grainy Dijon, chives, mint and parsley.

I also grilled a few chicken thighs with rosemary using the indirect method in an effort to not blacken them.  This was just a little more protein to augment the lamb.

There was talk (by me) of petites pois as well, but the summer heat and energy got in the way.  But I don't think anybody left the table hungry.

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