Daniel Boulud has spent more than 20 years at the top of the restaurant world -- long enough that he really needs no introduction! But just in case, he’s the chef behind 15 restaurants around the world, including his eponymous two Michelin-starred Daniel in New York, and the author of more than half a dozen cookbooks. He’s also cooked with Martha many times, most recently on today’s Facebook Live. Here’s everything you need to know to recreate the ratatouille they made together.
Ratatouille with Baked Eggs
Boulud also loves serving this ratatouille alongside leg of lamb roasted with the same herbs and aromatics in the stew.
6 tablespoons good-quality extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing and drizzling
1 large sweet onion, peeled, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch chunks
5-7 cloves garlic, peeled, split, germ removed, and finely diced
Pinch red-pepper flakes
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, deveined, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded, deveined, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, deveined, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, quartered, and cut into 1-inch pieces
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
2 medium eggplants (about 1/2 pound each), trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks (discard the very center seedy flesh)
3 small zucchini, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3-4 large beefsteak tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 bouquet garni (3 thyme sprigs, 3 basil sprigs, and 1 bay leaf tied with butcher’s twine)
8 large eggs
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives or flat-leaf parsley
Fresh basil (optional)
Toasted focaccia, olive bread, or croutons, for serving (optional)
1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
2. In a 6- to 7-quart cast-iron Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium. When the oil is hot, add onion, garlic, and red-pepper flakes, and saute, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. The onions should not brown or stick to the bottom, so add more oil if necessary. Add the peppers and fennel; continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, while you saute the remaining vegetables.
3. In order for the eggplant and zucchini to retain their distinctive flavors, they need to be cooked in batches or in two separate saute pans or skillets. In a medium saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high and add eggplant. Saute until just softened, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer the eggplant to a plate and set aside. Wipe out the pan and repeat process with zucchini.
5. Stir tomato paste into the onion, peppers, and fennel mixture and cook about 4 to 5 minutes.
6. Increase the heat to medium and add the eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, and bouquet garni. Season with salt and pepper, then cover loosely with aluminum foil or parchment paper. You can also cover with a cartouche, a parchment paper lid with a hole in the middle that lets the steam escape, brushed with olive oil so that the paper doesn't burn. Place in the oven and bake, stirring twice, until the vegetables are meltingly tender but still retain their shape, about 1 hour.
7. Remove the bouquet garni and let the ratatouille rest in a warm place for about 10 minutes. (The ratatouille can be made ahead up to this point and refrigerated for a day. Reheat and continue as directed.)
8. Divide the ratatouille between two ovenproof dishes. Make four small wells in each, then crack an egg into each well. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until egg whites are set but yolks are still runny, about 10 minutes.
9. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with chives or parsley. If desired, garnish with basil and serve with focaccia, olive bread, or croutons.
Soft-Boiled Eggs Variation
Place eggs carefully into a pot of boiling water and cook for 4 minutes. Remove eggs from water, chill, and peel. Instead of cracking an egg into each well, add a soft-boiled egg. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Bake at 350 or 400 degrees until eggs are warm, about 4 to 5 minutes. Continue as directed.
And now, watch Martha and Daniel make this dish: