Do I have a treat for you today: a Ratatouille Tarte Tatin with Thyme Honey and Goat Cheese.
Just saying the name and remembering how good this was makes me want to dive to the fridge for the leftovers! I know we’re all masters of the superlative when it comes to writing our blurbs (Kirsty and I call it gushing and some of us here on the old social are more guilty of it than others… 😂) but believe me when I say that this was the best thing I’ve eaten in a while!
I slow roasted the tomatoes and the zucchinis before building the tarte and the taste and texture were completely next level.
In Germany, winter tomatoes can be really touch and go, but the slow roasting intensifies the flavor so much that it tastes like a late summer dream come true.
Add in a tangy goat cheese, homemade thyme honey, a few other bits and bobs that are essential to a ratatouille, cover the whole thing with flaky puff pastry and wow! You have got yourself the perfect lunch (have you ever noticed that I’m a huge fan of lunch? ☺️) or light dinner! Serve with a herby green salad and a crisp glass of Chablis with a side of spring sunshine.
Happy Friday, everyone!
1/4 cup honey
8 sprigs thyme
1 medium sized eggplant
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1 zucchini (about 300g)
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, plus more as garnish
2 large shallots, chopped
2 tsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
200 g soft goat cheese
coarse sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 14-ounce package all-butter puff pastry (280g sheet)
Unfold puff pastry sheet and cut into a 10-inch (25 cm) round; chill, covered, until ready to use
To make the thyme honey, place honey and thyme sprigs in a small pot. Heat water in a slightly bigger pot and place the small pot on top of the bigger one to make a double boiler. Simmer on low to medium heat to infuse the honey until all your other components are ready.
Preheat oven to 160C.
Slice the tomatoes into thin rounds with a serrated knife. Remove the green core of the tomato with a small knife. Place slices on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of coarse sea salt. Place into the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes. Check 10-15 minutes before the time is up to keep an eye on whether they are getting too brown.
Remove the stem of the eggplant. Slice thinly lengthwise, this works best with a mandolin. Place slices in a colander and sprinkle all over with salt. Toss with your hands to make sure the salt is distributed evenly. The salt will draw the moisture out of the eggplant. Place over a bowl or in the sink to drain for about 40 minutes or until everything else is ready.
Cut the stem off the zucchini and slice thinly into rounds. A mandolin is great for this as well! Place slices on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Since there are quite a few slices, either work with a second baking sheet or it’s also fine if the slices overlap slightly. Drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of coarse sea salt.
Place in the oven with the tomatoes for about 30 minutes until ready, keep an eye on them so they don’t burn.
Heat a pan with the butter and sauté the chopped shallots and minced garlic until soft and fragrant. Set aside.
When the zucchini and the tomatoes are ready, remove from the oven and set aside. Turn up heat to 220C.
Give the colander with the eggplant a shake to remove excess water. Dump onto a wad of paper towels or a kitchen towel, cover and press down gently to remove more water.
Mix the oregano and thyme leaves together in a small bowl.
Remove the honey from the double boiler. Remove the thyme sprigs but don’t worry about any thyme leaves in the honey.
Liberally baste the bottom and sides of a 26-28cm quiche form or round spring form with olive oil.
Spoon the thyme honey over the bottom of the spring pan.
Now it’s time to build the tarte. Start with a layer of tomatoes. Then add a layer of zucchini rounds. Dot blobs of chèvre (about a third of what you have) onto the zucchini. Sprinkle a heaped teaspoon of herbs all over the zucchini and chèvre. Then layer a heaped tablespoon of the shallot and garlic mixture, spreading it around. Follow up with a layer of eggplant slices. Add freshly ground pepper to taste and about a 1/4 teaspoon of coarse sea salt.
Repeat these layers until you’ve used up all the ingredients.
Top with puff pastry round, tucking edges into the form. Cut several long vents into the top of the pastry.
Bake tarte until the pastry is puffed and golden, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the pastry to loosen it from pan, and flip tarte out onto a serving platter. Garnish with some extra thyme leaves.
Cut into wedges and serve immediately.