As everyone except me seems to have a glut of both tomatoes and zucchini right now I figured it must be ratatouille time. Watching Trish Deseine on Trish's Paris Kitchen the other day make a Ratatouille crumble I knew the universe must be talking to me so I listened. Of course I could not help fiddling a bit, and I think the following adaptation is really delicious. The goat cheese melts slightly under the crispy topping, and blends with the juices of the vege, so you get a wee bit of creaminess, slightly sour cheese and a crisp buttery topping with the crunch of pine nuts.........try it and see what you think. If you don't like goat cheese just substitute it for a cheese you do like. Or leave it out.
Ratatouille Goat Cheese Crumble (adapted from Trish Deseine)
For the Ratatouille
4 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 eggplant, cut into chunks about 2cm thick
1 red pepper, cut into chunks
1 green pepper, cut into chunks
3 zucchini, cut into chunks (can you see a theme?)
1 kg tomatoes, (that's about 6-7 decent size tomatoes) skinned and deseeded (it's easy, I will tell you how)Handful of fresh basil
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the onion and garlic over a medium heat. Add the aubergine and the red and green peppers, stirring to combine.
Meanwhile skin your tomatoes. Just chuck them in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Wait about 30 seconds, then fish them out with a spoon and dunk straight away into ice cold water. After a minute or so take out and the skin will peel away in no time.
Cut across the middle, and squeeze out the seeds as if you were squeezing a lemon. All the juice and seeds would water down your ratatouille so it pays to get rid of them. The whole process only takes a couple of minutes, and is strangely satisfying. If you can coral some child labour in to squeeze the seeds all the better...
When the vege have softened, add the zucchini, tomatoes and herbs, some salt and pepper.
I got some lovely purple and green basil in my vege box, but if you don't have any use another herb you like, thyme would be great, or rosemary, and maybe some parsley and cook for a further 15-20 minutes until cooked and soft. While the vegetables are cooking, preheat the oven to 180C/350F and prepare the topping
Goat cheese crumble topping
100g very cold butter cubed
150g plain flour
Handful parmesan cheese, grated
Handful pine nuts, toasted in a dry pan for a couple of minutes until golden
Freshly ground black pepper
Soft goat cheese, or if you prefer a melting Gruyere, or a soft blue....actually whatever cheese you like/have
In a food-processor, or with your fingers, rub the butter into the flour and parmesan. I use a food processor as a) I'm lazy and b) I can use really cold butter, but it is your call. When you have a mixture resembling breadcrumbs, mix in the toasted pine nuts and some pepper.
When the ratatouille is really nice and soft and cooked, spoon it into a dish, and dot over your cheese of choice.
Cover with the crumble mixture and cook in the oven for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden and crispy. The cheese and filling will bubble up into the crumble, this is all to the good so don't worry. Serve hot or warm.
I made a small one for my lunch, and a larger dish for supper, it reheats well. The addition of the cheese and crumble makes this more substantial than traditional ratatouille, and needs nothing more than a salad to make a filling summer meal. And a glass of vino perhaps........