A light take on a French classic, ratatouille, this dish is fresh, healthy and beautiful to look at. Thin slices of summer vegetables soak up their seasonings to be perfectly balanced while the creamy carrot purée ties the whole dish together.
1 pound (454g) carrots, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup (60ml) butter, cold and cubed
1/4 teaspoon (0.75ml) cayenne pepper
Salt, to season
2 Japanese eggplant, sliced 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick
Salt and black pepper, to season
1/4 cup (60ml) white wine vinegar
1 sprig rosemary, leaves only, finely chopped
2 tablespoons (30ml) Calabrian chilli sauce or paste
Olive oil, to drizzle
2 yellow zucchinis, sliced 1/8 inch (3mm) thick
2 green zucchinis, sliced 1/8 inch (3mm) thick
2 lemons, juice only
4 Roma tomatoes, sliced 1/8 inch (3mm) thick
2 sprigs oregano leaves, chopped
4 sprigs parsley leaves, chopped
Add carrots to a medium pot. Cover with water and boil until tender, eight to 10 minutes.
Strain and add carrots to a blender. Blend to a silky-smooth puree.
Add cold butter while blending to emulsify.
Add cayenne and season with salt.
Allow purée to cool to room temperature, then chill in the refrigerator.
Salt the eggplant, toss and leave to sit for 30 minutes.
Using your hand, press eight to 10 slices of eggplant at a time to squeeze out excess water.
Transfer to a small bowl, add the white wine vinegar, chopped rosemary, and Calabrian chilli, and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat. Marinate for one hour or up to overnight.
Meanwhile, combine zucchini and lemon juice in a small bowl. Season with salt, toss and allow to soften for 30 minutes.
Strain zucchini and pat dry.
On a tray, lay out all the slices of eggplant, zucchini and tomato, without overlapping.
Drizzle the slices with olive oil and season with pepper.
Using a second tray, lay down a slice of eggplant, then overlap a slice of yellow zucchini, leaving a half an inch (1.25 cm) space of exposed eggplant. Repeat with a slice of green zucchini and tomato.
Repeat this step four times until you have laid down 16 slices of vegetable. Scatter chopped parsley and oregano over the vegetables and roll into a tight ‘log’.
Turn onto its side and fan out the top to look like a flower.
Place a small circle of carrots in the center of a white plate. Top with one slice of each vegetable to hide the puree.
Place the “flower” over top. Place dots of carrot puree around the presentation. Enjoy!