I know I’m about a year late to the party, but I have a new found love for this dish after seeing the movie. I even serve this with my bright and sunny lemon linguine.
Movie references aside, this is a relatively simple dish that does a great job showcasing the flavors of the fresh vegetables. When tomatoes aren’t in season I like using cherry tomatoes as they are pretty sweet no matter what time of year. In a pinch a can of good stewed tomatoes (like Pomi) will do just fine.
Just make sure the squash and eggplant are fresh as both tend to get bitter when they’ve been sitting around for a while. I’ve also been thinking this should work with winter squashes like butternut and acorn.
Traditionally this dish is supposed to be a stew, but I’ve come somewhere between the original and Thomas Keller’s Confit Byaldi with my own interpretation. Basically I put tomato confit between layers of veggies and throw it in the oven.
1 Tbs + 1 tsp olive oil
1 large spring onion sliced thin
3 cloves garlic crushed
1 Tbs tomato paste
3-4 ripe tomatoes peeled, seeded & chopped (or 1 pint of cherry tomatoes sliced in half)
kosher salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp kosher salt
2 Japanese or 1 Italian eggplant sliced thin (1/8″)
1 medium zucchini’s sliced thin (1/8″)
1 medium yellow squash sliced thin (1/8″)
leaves from a couple sprigs of thyme
freshly ground black pepper
Sprinkle the sliced eggplant with 1 tsp of salt and toss to coat. Let stand for about 20 minutes to release some of the water in the eggplant.
Saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil until the onions are nice and caramelized. Add the tomatoes and tomato paste and cook until the tomatoes are soft.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Stack a few pieces of eggplant on paper towels and squeeze out excess water. Repeat with the rest of the eggplant.
Toss the eggplant, squash, thyme and pepper with enough olive oil to lightly coat each slice (should be shiny but not greasy).
In a baking dish (about 8″ x 8″) put down an even layer of sliced vegetables then cover with tomato confit. Repeat twice more, ending with the tomato confit.
Cover with parchment paper and bake for about 45 minutes or until the vegetables are soft but not mushy.