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Modern Ratatouille (in the Form of Confit Byaldi) Recipe

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Impress family, friends, and dinner guests with an iconic modern take on a French classic courtesy of this ratatouille confit byaldi recipe. It is as delicious as it is colorful, and while it looks complex, it is actually pretty simple to make.

If you’re looking for the traditional ratatouille stew, see this Ratatouille recipe. If you’re looking for Disney’s version of Ratatouille, keep reading.

Ratatouille Confit Byaldi Recipe

What is Ratatouille Confit Byaldi

Put simply, confit byaldi is a variation of ratatouille, the traditional French vegetable stew hailing from Provence. The original dish was created by French chef Michel Guérard, and the version that is popular today is a variation of this dish created by American chef Thomas Keller.

Difference Between Traditional Ratatouille and Confit Byaldi

If you search for ‘ratatouille’ online, you’re very likely to find this style of dish. However, confit byaldi is not traditional ratatouille and, instead, a modernized version of the dish.

Traditionally, ratatouille is a vegetable stew hailing from the Provence region. Typically it was made from leftovers, and to this day, the authentic recipe is a topic of debate. However, the likes of tomato, zucchini, eggplant, onion, garlic, and fresh herbs are typically used in the stew.

Confit byaldi, initially, was a variation of ratatouille created by French chef Michel Guérard, who is deemed one of the founders of Nouvelle cuisine. This is a style of cooking that puts heavy emphasis on presentation.

The dish that is famous online today, and the one we will be making in this recipe, is a variation of confit byaldi created by American chef Thomas Keller. While consulting for the film Ratatouille, he was asked how he would serve Ratatouille if the most famous food critic in the world visited his restaurant.

As a result, the version of confit byaldi ratatouille with the fanned-out vegetable rounds was born, and following the success of the film, the one that gained worldwide exposure.

Because of this popularity, today, this style of confit byaldi ratatouille is often wrongly misinterpreted as traditional ratatouille. Both are beloved, iconic dishes and thus, both deserve their own place in French cuisine.

Ingredients

To make my ratatouille in the style of confit byaldi, you’ll first need the following ingredients:

  • Bell Peppers – 3 bell peppers, preferably mixed colors
  • Olive Oil – 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Onion – 1 onion
  • Garlic – 3 cloves of garlic
  • Herbes de Provence – 1/2 tsp Herbes de Provence (or dried thyme or 3 sprigs of fresh thyme)
  • Basil – a handful of fresh basil
  • Tomatoes – 10 tomatoes (5-6 fresh tomatoes, peeled for the sauce and 4 tomatoes, to be sliced)
  • Squash – 1 yellow squash
  • Zucchini/Courgette – 1 large or 2 small green zucchini/courgette
  • Eggplants – 1 large or 2 small eggplants/aubergines
  • Salt – 2 tsp kosher salt
  • Black Pepper – 1 tsp ground black pepper

Confit Byaldi is generally served with a balsamic vinaigrette drizzled on top. I preferred to omit it in this recipe, but if you want the vinaigrette, simply combine three parts olive oil with one part balsamic vinegar (for example, three tablespoons of olive oil with one tablespoon of balsamic vinegar) and a pinch of seasoning (salt and black pepper) and 1/4 tsp of dijon mustard (to act as an emulsifier and to add additional flavor).

Ingredient Notes

Herbes de Provence – this is simply a mix of herbs typical in the Provence region of France. It generally includes thyme, rosemary, basil, marjoram, oregano, and tarragon, among others. You can buy this mix in most grocery stores, create your own Herbes de Provence mix, or simply substitute dried thyme (1/2 tsp of dried thyme) or fresh thyme (1 and 1/2 tsp of fresh thyme) in this recipe.

Tomatoes – you can also use canned peel tomatoes (about one can of 14.1 oz or 400 grams) or passata. If using canned tomatoes or passata, I recommend getting the highest quality you can get. And you may potentially have to use a bit of sugar (about 1 tsp) as the canned tomatoes tend to be more acidic.

Squash – if you can’t find yellow squash in the supermarkets, you can use green zucchini/courgette instead. The taste will be similar; it’s just the colors look more beautiful if yellow is included in the color combination.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1 – Roast the bell peppers. First, preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F). While the oven is preheating, halve the peppers and remove the core and seeds. Place the peppers (skin side up) on a baking sheet or tray with baking paper on it. Brush a touch olive oil on the peppers. Place the baking sheet in the oven for about 30 minutes until the peppers are roasted and nicely charred. Remove from the oven, place some plastic wrap/cling film on (to make the skin peel easier) and once cool enough to handle, remove the skin and finely chop the peppers.

Step 2 – While the bell peppers are roasting, peel the tomatoes.

A – First, score six of the tomatoes (on a cutting board).

B – Add the tomatoes to a large heatproof bowl or pot and pour boiling water over them. Wait 10 minutes.

C – Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon to a bowl of cold water.

D – Peel the skin with a knife and remove the stem.

E – Chop the peeled tomatoes.

Step 3 – Finely dice the onions.

Step 4 – To a pan, over medium heat, add 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the onions, 1/2 tsp salt and saute for about 5-6 minutes. Then, add the minced/chopped garlic and saute for 1 minute more. Then add the chopped peeled tomatoes, Herbes de Provence, and bay leaf. Simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes.

Step 5 – Remove the bay leaf, and using an immersion blender, blend the tomato-onion mixture.

Step 6 – Add in the finely chopped peppers and place this mixture in the bottom of the ovenproof dish you’ll use for the ratatouille slices. I used a 10-inch cast-iron pan, but you can also go bigger, using a 12-inch round dish or even a 14-inch. You’d just spread out the slices more.

Step 7 – Thinly slice the zucchini, squash, tomato, and eggplant. I used a knife as I generally don’t use a mandoline. Many people will use mandolines to obtain thinner slices. If you’re going to use a mandoline, I highly recommend using cut-resistant gloves. Most people really underestimate how dangerous mandolines can be, and many people can find themselves in the ER due to mandoline cuts/injuries.

Step 8 – Season the slices of zucchini, squash, tomato, and eggplant with a bit of salt, pepper, and brush some olive oil over the slices. Add some chopped basil to the tomato slices.

Step 9 – Combine the slices in this order – eggplant, then squash, then tomato, then zucchini. Repeat, arranging them in a circle in the cast iron pan or ovenproof dish over the sauce.

If you have any leftover slices, you can keep them to use in other dishes like a frittata the next morning.

Step 10 – Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the veggies (you can use a pastry brush to make sure the oil is spread evenly).

Cover the baking dish (in my case, cast iron pan) with foil and bake at 300°F (or 150°C) for 2 hours. Then, remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes.

This ratatouille confit byaldi is even better the next day. So, if you want to make this the day before, you could bake it first at 300°F (or 150°C) for 2 hours. Then, you could let it cool, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the next day. Then, before your guests arrive or before dinnertime, take it out of the fridge and bake it for 30-40 minutes 300°F (or 150°C) until warmed through and slightly caramelized.

Once it’s ready, prepare for plenty of gasps and gaping mouths. Those aromas are divine, while that colorful circular pattern is mesmerizing to lay eyes on.

Serve it as you would any stew, with fresh, crusty bread, and extra herbs and seasonings, all in good company, of course!

Recipe Card

Yield: 4-6 servings

Modern Ratatouille (Confit Byaldi)

Modern Ratatouille (Confit Byaldi)
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 bell peppers, preferably mixed colors
  • 10 tomatoes (5-6 fresh tomatoes, peeled for the sauce and 4 tomatoes, to be sliced)
  • 1 large or 2 small green zucchini/courgette
  • 1 large or 2 small eggplants/aubergines
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Herbes de Provence (or dried thyme or 3 sprigs of fresh thyme)
  • a handful of fresh basil
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Roast the bell peppers. First, preheat the oven to 220°C (430°F). While the oven is preheating, halve the peppers and remove the core and seeds. Place the peppers (skin side up) on a baking sheet or tray with baking paper on it. Brush a touch of olive oil on the peppers. Place the baking sheet in the oven for about 30 minutes until the peppers are roasted and nicely charred. Remove from the oven, place some plastic wrap/cling film on (to make the skin peel easier) and once cool enough to handle, remove the skin and finely chop the peppers.
  2. While the bell peppers are roasting, peel the tomatoes (note 1).
  3. Finely dice the onions.
  4. To a pan, over medium heat, add 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the chopped onions and 1/2 tsp salt and saute for about 5-6 minutes. Then, add the minced/chopped garlic and saute for 1 minute more. Then add the chopped peeled tomatoes, Herbes de Provence, and bay leaf. Simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the bay leaf, and using an immersion blender, blend the tomato-onion mixture.
  6. Add in the finely chopped peppers and place this mixture at the bottom of the ovenproof dish you’ll use for the ratatouille slices (note 2).
  7. Thinly slice the zucchini, squash, tomato, and eggplant (note 3).
  8. Season the slices of zucchini, squash, tomato, and eggplant with a bit of salt, pepper, and brush some olive oil over the slices. Add some chopped basil to the tomato slices.
  9. Combine the slices in this order – eggplant, then squash, then tomato, then zucchini. Repeat, arranging them in a circle in the cast iron pan or ovenproof dish over the sauce (note 4).
  10. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the veggies (you can use a pastry brush to make sure the oil is spread evenly).
  11. Cover the baking dish (in my case, cast iron pan) with foil and bake at 300°F (or 150°C) for 2 hours. Then, remove the foil and bake for another 30
    minutes (note 5).

Notes

Note 1: How to peel tomatoes

A – First, score six of the tomatoes (on a cutting board).

B – Add the tomatoes to a large heatproof bowl or pot and pour boiling water over them. Wait 10 minutes.

C – Remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon to a bowl of cold water.

D – Peel the skin with a knife and remove the stem.

E – Chop the peeled tomatoes.

Note 2: Ovenproof dish

I used a 10-inch cast-iron pan, but you can also go bigger, using a 12-inch round dish or even a 14-inch. You’d just spread out the slices more.

Note 3: Slicing the Veggies

I used a knife as I generally don’t use a mandoline. Many people will use mandolines to obtain thinner slices. If you’re going to use a mandoline, I highly recommend using cut-resistant gloves. Most people really underestimate how dangerous mandolines can be, and many people can find themselves in the ER due to mandoline cuts/injuries.

Note 4: Leftover Veggie Slices

If you have any leftover slices, you can keep them to use in other dishes like a frittata the next morning.

Note 5: Preparing the Dish the Day Before

This dish is even better the next day. So, if you want to make this the day before, you could bake it first at 300°F (or 150°C) for 2 hours. Then, you could let it cool, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the next day. Then, before your guests arrive or before dinnertime, take it out of the fridge and bake it for 30-40 minutes at 300°F (or 150°C) until warmed through and slightly caramelized.

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Authors

  • Doina Johnson is a recipe developer and writer. Doina has been cooking for most of her life, and her style draws from many different influences. She cooked with her mother and grandma growing up in Eastern Europe, before adding modern, western influences to her style when living in the United States for about a decade. Then, she traveled full-time for several years, trying food in Europe, Asia, and South America, and bringing those influences into her own cooking. She strives to introduce passionate homecooks to world cuisine, generally by trying the food herself abroad and then recreating it at home and, at times, enlisting the help of local foodies and chefs.

  • Hey there! We are Dale and Doina, the founders of Nomad Paradise. We traveled full-time for over three years, and while we now have a home base in the U.K., continue to take trips abroad to visit new places and try new cuisines and foods. Our food guides are curated with the guidance of local foodies, and their contribution is indicated under each article. We also cook the foods we try abroad, and you can discover how to make them in our 'recipes from around the world' category.

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