Two wings lift a person up from earthy concerns: simplicity and purity. Simplicity should be in intention, purity in feelings. Simplicity reaches out after God, purity catches hold and tastes. ~ Thomas A’Kempis

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Harvest Ratatouille ......or Cobbler

It's late summer here in New Zealand, and the gardens overflowing with tomatoes and zucchini. Almost out of desperation one evening I came up with this recipe.. It's similar to eggplant ratatouille, very simple and other vegetables can easily be substituted eg. sweet potato, summer squash, eggplant etc. The tomatoes are a must e.g. substitute a can of chopped tomatoes or a jar of tomato passata, if you don't have an excess of  tomatoes, along with fresh herbs.

My basic ingredient list is:

4 large zucchini
6 large Beefsteak tomatoes
1 - 2 large red peppers
Balsamic Vinegar
Spray Olive oil
Garlic/Herb salt
Moroccan spice mix
Fresh ground black pepper
Sea salt

Cobbler Topping: (optional)

225g Self Raising Flour
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne pepper 
1/2 teaspoon Salt 
1 Cup Tasty Mature Cheese
50g  cold butter - grated
Milk 150ml
Optional - fresh Parsley/Thyme chopped

Chop all vegetables into even sized chunks. Spray a baking tray with oil and pile the vegetables inside it. Slosh over the balsamic vinegar....about 1/4 Cup. Then carefully pour about 1/2 - 3/4 Cup of water around the edge of the vegetables.
Sprinkle over the seasonings, (as much as you like) and season generously with black pepper and salt.

Bake in a fan-bake oven at 200 Celcius for about 30 minutes...or until everything is softened and slightly charred.

At this stage, toss the mixture, it can be served as a vegetable accompaniment with meat/fish etc...or continue to the cobbler pie.
If making the pie, add about 1/2 jar of tomato passata, just so the mixture stays nice and moist.

Method - Cobbler Topping:

Put the flour,  cayenne pepper, salt and butter in a mixing bowl. Mix until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add 1/2 the cheese and milk and mix till it a soft dough is formed. Add more milk if needed. Turn onto a floured board, and pat into a round shape:

Flatten out to about 1/2 inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter cut out 7-8 shapes. Place the tomato ratatouille mixture in a casserole dish or cast iron frypan. Place the dough on top, bursh with some milk or beaten egg and sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top...and maybe a little parmesan too. Cook in the middle of the oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown and the scone/biscuits are cooked through. Enjoy :o)

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