Welcome to the third and final recipe in my ratatouille-inspired series: Pizzatouille!
This is a deconstructed dish, so you get all the gorgeous tastes and textures of ratatouille in different layers. I used the round ingredients (zucchini and eggplant) as a topping, and I incorporated the red peppers, onions, herbes de Provence and garlic into a tomato paste, to spread on the dough. The dough uses some of that herb blend too, to intensify the flavour. To avoid herbes-de-Provence overkill, I stuck with fresh basil as a final garnish. I opted for a nice hard goat cheese with lovely salty crystals to balance out the sauce, but you could use shredded mozzarella too. I really hope you enjoy this; please let me know if you try it out!
Since this dish involves dough-making, cheese-shredding, and veggie-chopping and -slicing, it really put my new food processor through its paces. In case you just landed here for the first time, I’ve been trying out the KitchenAid 13-cup food processor with Exact-Slice system and running a contest to give one away to one Open Kitchen subscriber. I’ll be announcing the winner at the end of this post–scroll down if you can’t wait to find out!
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I’ve never made dough with a food processor, and I kind of like getting my hands right into the sticky mess of flour, water and yeast and shaping it up into a smooth, elastic ball. However, seeing the dough take shape on its own in the food processor, with the plastic dough blade, in just a couple of minutes made me think I might be making bread much more often this way. A final knead by hand on a floured surface gave the dough perfect shape, then I left it in peace to rise for half an hour.
For the sauce, I finely diced the red onions and red peppers in the food processor, before cooking them up with herbs and salt, then adding passata and crushed garlic. So rich! If you like a super-smooth sauce, you could puree the finished, cooled sauce in your food processor too, but I like a little more texture.
I used the slicing disc for the zucchini and eggplant, to get perfectly even rounds. I chose a medium-thick setting with the Exact-Slice lever, but in retrospect, I think I’d go thinner–your choice!
The one thing I’ve always loved having a food processor for is shredding. I hate using a grater and doing this task by hand–it feels too much like work and often seems to end in knuckle skinning. The KitchenAid shredding disc helped me reduce 100g of hard cheese into a perfect pile of shreds in seconds. If you frequently make latkes or raw pastas from zucchini and carrots, it’s great for those things too.
OK, to the recipe!
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2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely diced
1 red pepper, finely diced
1 tsp salt
300 ml passata (cooked and strained tomatoes)
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp herbes de Provence
2 medium cloves garlic, crushed
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil and add onions, red peppers and salt. Saute until onion is translucent and pepper is tender. Add passata, pepper, herbes de Provence and garlic. Cook on low simmer, around 20 minutes, to create a thick paste. Adjust seasonings to taste and remove from heat.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Chinese (or other slender) eggplant
1 slender yellow zucchini, cut into thin discs
1 slender green zucchini, cut into thin discs
Several slices red onion
100g hard goat cheese, shredded
Several basil leaves, torn
Ground black pepper, to taste
Chili oil or extra-virgin olive oil to drizzle
In a large skillet on medium-high heat, warm 1/4 cup olive oil. Add eggplants and saute, 2-3 minutes per side, turning once, to give a pale golden colour. Remove from heat and set aside on kitchen paper, to absorb excess oil. Repeat process for yellow and green zucchini. Prepare and set aside other toppings, ready for assembly.
Make 1 quick pizza dough recipe (I used Ricardo’s 5-star recipe, tossing in 1 tsp herbes de Provence with the flour) or buy frozen pizza dough.
Pummel, roll or stretch your dough into a couple of rough, circular shapes for the base.
Assembly and Baking:
Heat a pizza stone in an oven, and when oven temperature reaches 425 F (220 C), remove from oven, sprinkle with cornmeal, then carefully place one of your dough circles on top . Spread dough with thin layer of sauce, sprinkle with half the cheese, then top with some of the eggplant and zucchini, leaving space between them, and strips of red onion. Brush the edge of the crust with olive oil. Bake 10-12 minutes, in the middle of the oven, until dough is cooked through, then finish under broil, watching carefully, until cheese is melted and vegetables are golden. Remove from oven, transfer to chopping board and sprinkle with ground black pepper then garnish with fresh basil. Drizzle with oil, slice and serve hot.
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And now, the winner of our KitchenAid 13-cup food processor with Exact-Slice system is…..
Congratulations, Joanna– have lots of fun with it. And thanks to everybody who entered. More awesome contests coming soon, so please keep checking in!