Makes 4 stacks
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small green zucchini, diced
1 yellow zucchini, diced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
5 large eggplants
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup tomatoes, diced
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
Vegetable oil, for deep frying
¾ cup goat cheese
2 small green zucchinis, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch black pepper
- In a 12” nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat.
- Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic, and sauté 3-4 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
- Add the green and yellow zucchinis to the pan and season with salt and pepper.
- With only one of the eggplants, cut the sides off about ½” thick, and discard the center. Reserve the remaining 4 eggplants.
- Dice the sides of the eggplant that you cut, and add to the pan with the thyme. Cook 5-8 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
- Add tomato, reduce heat to low, and cook 5 more minutes.
- In a deep fryer or large saucepot, heat vegetable oil to 325°F.
- With the remaining eggplants, slice 12 1’ thick slices.
- Dip the eggplant slices into the milk first, and then the flour. Make sure they are completely coated, and shake off excess.
- Gently place the coated rings into the hot oil, and deep fry for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Using a cookie cutter or piece of PVC pipe that is about the same width as the eggplant rings, mold your stacks.
- Begin with a fried eggplant ring. Top with 2 tablespoons ratatouille, then 2 tablespoons of goat cheese. Top with another eggplant ring, 2 more tablespoons ratatouille, and 2 more tablespoons goat cheese.
- Layer slices of zucchini on top, and repeat for remaining stacks.
- Place the olive oil in a nonstick skillet, and carefully transfer your stacks into the pan. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and season with salt and pepper. If you used a metal cookie cutter, leave the stacks molded. If you used PVC pipe, remove it at this time.
- Place the skillet in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until stack is heated through, and zucchini is lightly browned.
- Transfer stacks to plate and unmold.
- Try to dice all of your vegetables for the ratatouille the same size, so that they cook evenly.
- While your ratatouille is cooking, you may need to add extra oil, because the zucchini will soak up the oil like a sponge.