This is the first month Recipes to Rival has been around. Lori and I choose Confit Byaldi as the first challenge. Basically this is fancy Ratatouille, more specifically it is the Ratatouille from the movie of the same name. You can find the recipe we used (and assorted other information and links) on the Recipes to Rival June Challenge post.
I followed the recipe pretty closely, a first for me, and am very glad I did. The piperade was probably the most time consuming bit. Lots of chopping and peeling and then it is all sauteed in various steps. I had forgotten how much fun it can be to skin tomatoes, just dunk them in boiling water for a couple seconds and then douse them in ice water and the skin just slides off. Roasting the bell peppers did the same thing and made them much easier to chop (they smelled good too).
Fortunately for me the piperade could be made ahead and stored for a couple days. I was very tempted to make a second batch the first smelled and looked so good (ok I may have tasted it too). Everyone agreed the piperade was something we could see ourselves making for lots of other uses as well. Pizza, sandwiches and salads were just a few of the ideas, me, I thought it would make a good french type salsa dip thing (aren't I articulate?).
The actual Confit Byaldi went together easily thanks to my new slicer and dicer (it doesn't really dice but it sounded good) I got lots of extra thin veggie slices very fast. I had several problems with this step however, all of them concerning the ingredients. I could not find a Japanese eggplant and even the smallest eggplant I did find was considerably larger then the squash. One of my zucchini and two of my tomatoes went off before I could use them (I had to wait a week after buying them to use them) fortunately I had plenty left.
The balsamic vinaigrette was a great touch and allowed me to use some fresh herbs from my garden (about all that I can grow). I used thyme, bee's Balm (a mint) and oregano. I had never used balsamic vinegar before (expensive and I am not a big fan of vinegar) but boy was it good.
The end result was gorgeous and delectable. It stored well, heated up well and tastes good cold. It can be done in stages and even done ahead so it is a great dish to make for guests. Serve with some crusty bread, a salad and you have a light and satisfying meal. Unfortunately something caused Indra to have an allergic reaction so she couldn't eat any. We are not sure if it was the sausage I served with it, the Balsamic vinegar or the bee's balm. I however enjoyed it for lunch several days running.