“This is not a traditional Ratatouille where you see perfectly sliced vegetables lined up,” says Chef Dennis Hong, likely referencing the masterwork of a certain Pixar rat named Remy. “We came up with roasting individual vegetables separately until golden brown and mixing it with Marinara,” Chef Hong says.
Instead of cooking the vegetables in an oven, Chef Hong browns them in oil in a Saute Pan, where they have enough room to cook evenly without overcrowding. The result is vegetables with a wonderful balance of texture and flavor that get combined with marinara sauce and fresh basil, and is perfect for a cold day.
Chef Dennis Hong’s recipe for Ratatouille combines crispy vegetables with a homemade marinara sauce.
Add one tablespoon of canola oil to a Stainless Clad Saute Pan and turn the heat to medium.
Add in two sprigs of thyme and two cloves of crushed garlic with the skin left on.
Working in batches and being careful not to overcrowd the pan, fry your vegetables one cup at a time, starting with the zucchini, and then working your way through the rest of the vegetables.
Once brown on all sides, remove the vegetables from the pan and place them on a Sheet Pan lined with a paper towel to drain the oil and keep the vegetables crisp.
Once the first batch is done, discard the garlic and thyme.
Add one more tablespoon of oil, two more springs of thyme and two more garlic cloves, and another cup of your vegetables.
Repeat steps 3-6 until all vegetables are nicely browned and crisp.
In a Frying Pan over medium-low heat, combine extra virgin olive oil, basil, garlic, crushed red pepper and ground black pepper. Bring the oil to a light simmer and let the spices infuse for 30 minutes. Remove from heat.
Once the olive oil mixture is cooled, strain it and reserve the infused oil. Discard the basil and garlic.
Add the strained olive oil into the Saute Pan with the tomato mixture and mix until they are incorporated.
Add the vegetables to the Sauce Pan with the Marinara sauce over medium heat until everything is hot. Serve in an Entrée Bowl and top with a few sprigs of basil.
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