Farandole des Legumes de l'Été

Don’t call it a vegetable gratin,” said chef David Baruthio as we rolled up our sleeves and started making this dish. “Americans think that gratin means it will have cheese in it.”

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Oh, for heaven’s sake, Chef, give us some credit! Anyone who cooks French food at all knows by know that a gratin is simply something that’s baked in the oven in a gratin dish…..right?

Well, maybe not. So, we settled on the name of Farandole de Legumes for this lovely summer harvest dish. A farandole is a traditional dance of Nice, France, so Farandole des Legumes is a fittingly poetic name for a dish brimming with favorite South-of-France veggies arranged as if dancing in a circle together. Serve this with grilled lamb or beef or roast chicken. It’s heaven.

Step by Step instructions, straight from the kitchen of Baru 66:

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1. Gather Your Ingredients

First, find the best zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes you can find. For this recipe, which served 2 to 3, we used 1 small zucchini, 1 medium eggplant, and 1 large tomato. Also get the olive oil, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper on your counter. You’ll need a 7-inch oven-going skillet.

Note that if you want to serve more people, use more vegetables, a larger skillet, and go up on the olive oil and garlic as needed. It’s really an easy recipe, more about “seeing and doing” than about exact measurements.

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1. Slice the Vegetables

• Slice the zucchini about 1/4 inch thick; slice the eggplant and tomato thinly as well (as close to 1/4 inch thick as you can get it).

• Note in the photo above that David is using a serrated knife to slice the eggplant. No matter how sharp your slicing knife is, a serrated knife will work better.

2. Prep the Oil

• Whisk together two tablespoons olive oil, 1 finely minced garlic clove, and 1 teaspoon thyme leaves.

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3. Layer the Vegetables

• Pour about half of the olive oil mixture into your pan.

• Start with a slice of eggplant; turn the slice in the oil to lightly coat it. Salt and pepper the slice.

• Place to the edge of the pan.

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• Repeat with the other vegetables—coat each slice in oil, then salt and pepper it. Continue layering the eggplant, tomato, and zucchini slices, layering them in a circular pattern until the pan is filled.

• Pour the remaining olive oil mixture over the vegetables.

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4. Bake the Gratin

• Preheat the oven to 375°F.

• Cover the pan with foil. Cut a small hole (about 1-inch in diameter) in the top of the foil to allow steam to escape.

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• Bake for 15 minutes. The vegetables should be softened at this point, though they won’t be brown (above).

• Uncover and bake about 10 minutes more or until the vegetables are light brown (below).

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• Allow the gratin to stand at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes. The vegetables will firm up somewhat, while soaking in the flavorful garlic-infused oil.

• Serve and savor.

 

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