Easy and delicious ratatouille gratin

June 18, 2009 4:38:03 PM PDT
It costs little to make, it's easy to prepare and it's deliciously filling!

Ratatouille Gratin
6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds zucchini, sliced into rounds (sized to have same diameter as tomatoes)
  • 2 pounds tomatoes, sliced (sized to have same diameter as zucchini)
  • 6 tablespoons California extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 red peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 eggplants, cubed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4-5 pinches of savory and thyme, mixed
  • 1 bunch basil - chopped
  • 1 bulb fennel - sliced
  • 3-4 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
  • Salt, freshly ground pepper
  • Optional: ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese or fine breadcrumbs
Assembly
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  2. Heat (3) tablespoons of olive oil in a large, thick bottomed pot. Add the onions, garlic, peppers and fennel. Sweat out slowly over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Cook gently, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened, about 45 minutes. Add the eggplant and basil and cook for an additional 15 minutes.

  3. Place the cooked vegetables in the bottom of a shallow baking dish. Arrange the zucchini and tomato slices on top, overlapping in rows. Sprinkle with savory and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with (2) tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for 30 minutes.

  4. Remove the dish from the oven, and drizzle with the remaining olive oil. If using breadcrumbs or grated parmesan, sprinkle over the top of the gratin. Bake for an additional 15 minutes or until cheese has melted and bread crumbs are golden.
ABOUT VINTAGE AFFAIRE
Saturday, June 27, 3:30PM
Vintage Affaire is held at a stunning private estate in Atherton. It's a gorgeous, fun event benefitting Palo Alto's Vista Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Vista Center is a primary local source for people with vision loss (from San Benito to San Mateo counties). Vintage Affaire has raised nearly $6 million to support the center during the past 26 years.

The event starts at 3:30 pm with a wine tasting (25+ top Calif. vintners) and tastes from the following fantastic chefs:

  • Xavier Salomon, The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay
  • Alessandro Cartumini, Quattro, Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley
  • Daniel Patino, Michael Mina's ARCADIA, San Jose
  • Cal Stamenov, Bernardus Lodge, Carmel Valley

    The live auction and a sit-down dinner in the garden follow. The live auction is gaveled by the legendary wine auctioneer, Fritz Hatton, formerly of Christie's.

    Vintage Affaire: www.vintageaffaire.org
    Vista Center: www.vistacenter.org

    ABOUT CAL STAMENOV, CHEF & CULINARY DIRECTOR, BERNARDUS LODGE

    Cal Stamenov has created an innovative culinary concept for Bernardus Lodge featuring California country cuisine in the main dining room, Marinus at Bernardus Lodge. Wickets the bar and bistro, features bistro-style cuisine in a light and casual setting. Marinus has been honored with the Mobil four-star award for the past two years, and was also presented with Wine Spectator's highly coveted Grand Award since 2001.

    Upon graduating from the California Culinary Academy, Stamenov began his career in 1982 at New York's famed Four Seasons restaurant. He is steeped in the European tradition of culinary artistry and has spent years in the most demanding kitchens of the world's most renowned chefs. His stellar credits include working with Alain Ducasse of the three-star Michelin restaurant, Louis XV at the Hotel de Paris, Monaco; Pierre Gagnaire in St. Etienne, France; Masa Koboiashi at Masa's Restaurant in San Francisco; Jean-Louis Palladin at Restaurant Jean-Louis in Washington D.C.; and Michel Richard at Citrus Restaurant. Stamenov worked as Executive Chef for the Highlands Inn in Carmel, and served as Chef de Cuisine of the highly regarded Domaine Chandon Restaurant in Napa Valley.

    Marinus at Bernardus Lodge is a four-star restaurant that resembles an Old World wine country estate and is graced by a dramatic 12-foot wide European fireplace with a raised hearth, offering spectacular views of the garden, majestic pines and nearby California Oaks. An inviting outdoor terrace and fireplace offers guests a relaxed and scenic setting. Stamenov has also created a series of unique cooking classes and food and wine weekend getaways offering guests the opportunity to experience and savor imaginative food accompanied by a selection of Bernardus Wines. Participants learn to prepare traditional dishes and seasonal specialties unique to the restaurant and the area.

    Cal's philosophy and style of cooking, is built on three central pillars: the relationship between food and terroir, the superiority of handcrafted, artisanal products over mass-produced, and the common sense of glorifying food when its flavor is at its peak. The Central Coast provides him with access to an inspiring range of ingredients whose essence and flavor is appreciable in every bite. These come to him by way of the relationships he has forged with growers, fisherman and foragers. He also has his own organic herb and vegetable gardens, and vineyards at Bernardus Lodge. With a treasure trove of impeccable products, Stamenov is able to cook with the seasons and rarely has to look further than his own backyard for inspiration. Website: www.bernardus.com

    ABOUT MARINUS AT BERNARDUS LODGE
    Marinus at Bernardus Lodge has been enjoying high praise since the resort opened in 1999, and has won Wine Spectator magazine's highly coveted "Grand Award" for its wine cellar since 2001. Since 1981, only 89 restaurants from 12 countries have earned the Grand Award, an honor bestowed every three years. The cellar houses 1,850 different wines and a total of more than 35,000 premium bottles, including 10,000 bottles from the affiliated Bernardus Winery & Vineyard near the resort. Since 2001, the Zagat Survey has noted Marinus as one of the Top Restaurants and Most Romantic places south of San Francisco. Marinus is open daily for dinner from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Jackets are not required.


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