Pixar-Style Ratatouille

So we are going to talk about ratatouille. A lot of you guys know that dish. Probably for the first time you heard of it from the movie “Ratatouille.” Traditionally, it’s stewed or sauteed. Eggplant, zucchini, tomato, onions. We are going to pursue a version called confit byaldi. That was made really popular by Pixar with the help of Thomas Keller. It’s the same flavors, same ingredients, made really beautifully just by slicing with a mandolin or a knife. All the vegetables. And you lay it out and do like a gorgeous shingled layer on top. So today we’re going to show you exactly how to make the confit byaldi, or ratatouille in the movie. And we’re also going to show you a few different riffs that we were inspired to make. And hopefully you can be inspired to make your own version of ratatouille, too. OK. Here we go. So there’s two parts. The sauce and the beautiful topping. I’m going to actually slice up the vegetables first. We’re going to blanch these tomatoes.

Boil the water! Coming up! Crank that sucker up on high. In the boiling water. We slice our tomatoes. Use a knife just because they’re so delicate. But the rest of them, I’m going to use a mandolin. And you just go to town. So I’m going to go about that thick. These guys are going to go on the tray.  The ends I’m just going to thrown in this bowl here for the sauce.  So this stuff you’ll see, obviously, I’m not stressing about it. Like with the mandolin– how perfect. Because this is just going to get cut down and pureed, right? All these guys go in.

And this goes to the stove. To make our ratatouille, the first part was slicing all of our vegetables. And we took the scraps, the end bits, and some onions and peppers and garlic, and made this sauce. So now we’re going to assemble. And you don’t want too much sauce here. You almost just want enough so it doesn’t burn on the bottom. Just like a nice, delicate pizza. That’s it. And then for this, we just start shingling our little veggies here. Purple. Yellow. Green. Red. Looks like a pack of Lifesavers. And once you get going here you can just get into a little flow state. So this guy has to bake with a lid. It’s winter time here in Seattle. And ratatouille is a very summery dish. But what we really liked about this dish is the technique. So we thought we’d apply it to a couple other things. It led us to some really neat dishes.

We’ve got parsnips, turnip, rutabaga, green apple. So all these little scraps. We’re going to layer all these on the bottom. I’m going to hit our cream right now.  So we’re going to do a sweeter version. We’ve got a bunch of beautiful apples. We’ve got our Granny Smith, our Opal, and our Honeycrisp. So you know how to make ratatouille from the movie. What’s great about that is it’s just a perfect example on how to take a base recipe and leverage it to make all sorts of new creations. So don’t be afraid to get creative.  Woo, baby! That is beautiful.

Wouldn’t that just be, like, the best footage in the world? Where you’re just, like, shooting and then all of a sudden, like, my thumb chunk goes like this. And it’s sitting there. We need to get, like, Hollywood props, man. Bring more theater in here..

As found on Youtube