Saturday, July 23, 2011

rah-tah-too-ee tart.

I took Spanish, leave me alone.

Most summer nights, I want something for dinner that is light, and fresh, and as easy to make as it is to eat while sitting outside.  This ratatouille tart is all of those things plus cheese.

You can really use any vegetables you like, but the peppers and feta together felt really lovely and Greek, and summer squash makes the whole thing seem like it was invented for this season.  Be really indie and pick the veggies up at your local farmers market.  Then blog about it!  Its really cool to blog.

For the best results, the vegetables should be sliced quite thin, using a mandoline.  My mom has every kitchen gadget there is INCLUDING an immersion blender, but is afraid of things that slice, so the mandoline remains on my incredibly extensive Williams Sonoma wishlist.

Ratatouille Tart
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
serves 8

14 oz puff pastry, defrosted but cold (Leave it on the counter a while, but once it starts getting soft, stick it in the fridge.  You want it malleable but not sticky, yaddidamean?)
1 Japanese eggplant (NOT the massive kind)
1 zucchini
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1/3 cup tomato puree
2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper
A few sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup crumbled feta

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Working on a lightly floured surface, unfold the sheet of pastry and flatten using a rolling pin until it measures about 11 x 15 inches.  Slide the pastry onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and prick it all the heck over with a fork.

Brush the tomato puree evenly over the pastry.  I did not leave a one inch border as directed and it worked out fine, so choose your own adventure: crust or no crust.

Lop the ends off the eggplant and zucchini, and slice into thin rounds.
If you have a mandoline, I hate you.  Use it.

Trim the ends off the red and yellow peppers, and carefully drag your knife around the inside, removing the seeds and core but leaving the outside intact.  Slice it into thin slices; if you have a mandolin, blah blah blah, your slices are perfect, I don’t wanna hear about it.

Arrange the vegetables over the puree however you think looks pretty.  If you have problems with spacial reasoning (me), dump the peppers on the pastry, spread them out, and then layer the eggplant and zucchini in rows, alternating vegetable.  You might have vegetables left over.  Snack on them while the tart is cooking.

Drizzle the tart with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with de-stemmed thyme leaves.

Bake for 25-30 minute or until pastry is puffed and browned.  Slide onto a cutting board, sprinkle with feta, and let sit a minute while they cheese gets soft and melty.  Cut into squares, or triangles, or strips, or like, hexagons, whatever.

Sit outside. 
Eat eat eat.

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