Posts Tagged ‘Guy Savoy’
This is a vegetable gratin, similar to Thomas Keller’s ratatouille, except the bottom layer is that of melted onions – a sweeter and less umami version. I found some freshly harvested salad onions (spring onions with big white bulb) at the farmer’s market yesterday but you can use any onion. Thinly slice couple of large onions, toss with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp red wine vinegar, a pinch of salt and a pinch of sugar. Let rest while you heat the oven to 400 F. Put the onions in a large enough gratin dish such that the onions form a single layer. Cook for 20-25 minutes, turning the onions every 5 minutes. Let cool. You can fry the onions on stove top as well but I wanted to make a one pot dish.
Cut and layer vegetables (zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes) as in ratatouille dish. Brush top with vinaigrette and scatter thyme leaves. Bake in 250F oven for 1-1.5 hrs. If you are serving fresh made gratin, it is worth the effort to cut the vegetables thinly and brushing the top with olive oil every 30 minutes of baking. This allows the vegetables to become crisp.
Fans of John Cleese’s “Fawlty Towers” will recognize this from the episode where Manuel thinks that the chef, Terry, has put his pet rat, Basil, in ratatouille.
My trials with ratatouille went from being mundane to fascinating after I watched the movie Ratatouille. The namesake dish in the movie is based on Thomas Keller’s ratatouille recipe and I was inspired to try it out. And it was love at first bite. Keller claims that his recipe is cleaned up version of “Imam Bayildi (Imam Fainted)”. Since then, I have read Guy Savoy, the renowned Parisian chef, claiming the same. In Bayildi, young Italian eggplants are stuffed with fried onions and cooked in a tomato pomegranate sauce – makes one swoon with delight if not faint altogether. I don’t quite see the connection between bayildi and ratatouille but I accept the wisdom of these great culinary giants.