Mothers makes the best food. Jacques shares his mother’s ratatouille recipe to enjoy on Mother’s Day weekend!
For mom’s ratatouille:
2 tbs. extra virgin oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
White part 2 large leeks, washed and chopped
4 ripe beefsteak tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
Pinch of salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of dried herbes de Provence
Prepare the puff pastry
Make the dough as directed in the recipe and let rest in the refrigerator until ready to use. (See Dessert Circus at Home for the different types of pastry Jacques pairs with his mom’s ratatouille).
Prepare the ratatouille
Heat the oil in a nonreactive 2-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it softens slightly and begins to take on color. Add the pepper and cook, stirring, until it begins to soften. Add the leeks and cook, stirring, until slightly softened and colored. Add the tomatoes and let the mixture cook until the tomatoes release their juice.
Lower the temperature and cook until soft and most of the liquid is gone, stirring, about 1 hour. Season to taste with the salt, pepper, and herbs. Stir the ratatouille often as it cooks to make sure the vegetables are well cooked, pour the mixture into a bowl and let it cool. Store in the refrigerator covered tightly with plastic wrap until ready to use.
Prepare the ratatouille turnovers
Remove the puff pastry from the refrigerator and cut it into thirds. Set one third aside and return the rest to the refrigerator. Place the dough on the lightly floured work surface. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a 12x 20-inch rectangle.
Use a 4 1/2-inch fluted cutter to cut 6 circles from the dough. Make the cuts close together so you can get as many as possible. Discard the scraps. Dust each circle with flour and use the rolling pin to roll each into an 8-inch-long oval. Use a pastry brush to apply egg wash to half of each oval. Place a large tbs. of ratatouille in the center and seal the edges closed by pressing down firmly with your fingers. Place on parchment paper-covered baking sheet.
Repeat with remaining dough. Brush the tops with egg wash. Bake until well risen and golden brown, about 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack before serving.
All of these puff pastry items are best eaten the day they are made!