Grilled and Stacked Ratatouille Salad

by Pamela

ratatouille, grilled ratatouille, grilled vegetables, stacked vegetables, grilled salad
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I’m so excited about this post.  Not because I turned a dish I loathe into a dish I now adore (if you missed the title – it’s ratatouille), but because it helps to launch my friend’s new project called Kitchen Play.  I won’t spill the beans (or the grilled vegetables) what Kitchen Play is all about, but I suggest you head over there and check it out and I’ll even give you another reason to visit at the end of this post – like a giveaway.

Have you ever heard of a progressive party?  As a kid, my parents were involved with these quite frequently.  Since children were not invited it led me to think up all kinds of weird scenarios for what a progressive party was.  For those that don’t know…a progressive party is usually a dinner party that takes place at multiple people’s homes.  Each house is assigned a course of the meal.  Usually these are done within a neighborhood so that you can simply walk between houses or the houses involved aren’t far from one another.  This post is part of a virtual progressive party put on by Kitchen Play and sponsored by Sur La Table.  I was given the salad course to make for your virtual six course meal, there’s even wine pairings for each course.  Since it’s virtual, you can ‘drink’ as much as you want and you won’t have to worry about embarrassing yourself either.

Being the rebel that I am I decided to make a grilled and stacked ratatouille salad.  Like I said before, I don’t really like ratatouille.  I don’t know why because I like all of the vegetables that go into the dish (tomatoes, zucchini, onion and peppers), I even like that cute little rat named Ratatouille.  Maybe it’s because it’s cooked in tomato sauce and tends to get a bit mushy sometimes.  Whatever the reason is, I just created my own version that eliminates the mush and allows you to taste every one of the flavors brought to the dish by each of the vegetables.  I decided to make this dish just to prove to myself that I could make a ratatouille that I would like.

Sur La Table sent me a Swissmar V Slicer.  What you decide to call this equipment goes down the same road as the tomato tomahto debate – it’s all a matter of semantics.  You may call this device a vegetable slicer (the longhand version of v slicer) or a mandolin slicer or just a mandolin.  We didn’t just receive this equipment for taking part in this progressive party, this was the equipment that each of us was to use in the creation of our dish (each of us received a different piece of equipment from Sur La Table and had to use that as our prep tool to make our dish).  A fun challenge to say the least when you’re assigned the salad portion of the meal.

I decided pretty quickly that I was going to make the grilled ratatouille but I was extremely skeptical that this V Slicer was going to make my prep work any easier.  I already have a vegetable slicer that I have a love hate relationship with.  I mostly hate it because I can’t change the thickness of the slices and taking it apart for clean up requires the strength of Samson to pull the pieces apart, but it makes large slicing tasks much easier.

This V Slicer was such a dream to use (and I’m not just saying that – I threw out my other one).  It’s got an adjustable base so it can be raised up off of the cutting board and an adjustable blade plate so that you can change the thickness of your slices (not to mention a total of 10 different cuts).  The adjustable blade allowed me to cut the vegetables thick so that they would hold up on the grill and I could cut them all the same thickness so that they would grill evenly.  Craig laughed at me because I was so happy that I could finally do all of the cuts that I wanted to and that I didn’t need his help pulling the slicer apart to clean it.  (By the way…remember when I mentioned that giveaway?  You have a chance to win one of these V Slicer’s too, just go over to Kitchen Play to see the other courses and to learn more.  Oh yeah, and everyone has a chance to win a Le Creuset 3 1/2 Quart Oval Wide French Oven.)

In case you’re  not familiar with Sur La Table, they’re a fantastic place to find pretty much everything you need for entertaining from the practical to the whimsical.

Relationship Advice

If you can’t get your guy to get on board when you want to have a dinner party or even just a few friends over for a small get together why not try doing a progressive party?  It takes the responsibility of putting the whole thing together off of everyone’s shoulders – which can be very stressful.  You can decide on a theme, just have tapas, maybe a mini pub crawl or go the traditional route and make it a traveling dinner party.  By taking the load off of yourself, you’ll both have more fun and he might be inclined to entertain a little more.

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13 comments

GiGi Eats Celebrities February 23, 2012 at 6:31 pm

HECK! The best way to MY HEART is through my stomach! LOL! And this recipe… just made me fall in love with you.

claudia September 22, 2010 at 1:08 pm

diffinitely right up my alley love this kind of marinade healthy and perfect every time!

sippitysup September 22, 2010 at 11:42 am

As creative as it is beautiful. The delicious part goes with out saying. So why did I say it? GREG

viviane bauquet farre / food & style September 22, 2010 at 10:55 am

Now that’s a fantastic non-mushy ratatouille!

RavieNomNoms September 22, 2010 at 10:03 am

That looks positively amazing! Just WOW! All those colors are gorgeous together and I bet it tastes even better than it looks!

Roxan September 22, 2010 at 9:15 am

I love the idea of a progressive party, I’ve never heard of that before! Too bad me and all my friends live so far from each other, otherwise this would be a blast. Great job with the dish, it looks absolutely delicious.

marla {family fresh cooking} September 21, 2010 at 7:34 pm

The progressive party is such a great idea! Your stacked ratatouille is both creative and delicious I am sure. That photo is gorgeous…new camera??

Jen Cheung September 21, 2010 at 11:57 am

interesting. progressive party!! Now I learned something new. I wonder if they still do parties around the neightborhood anymore eh?? For me – I don’t even know anyone around us from our neighborhood. I guess this is a great way to bond with neighborhoods right?? awesome. thanks for the definition. :) I sure did learn something here and the relationship advice. :)

have a lovely tuesday love.
jen @ http://www.passion4food.ca

Lentil Breakdown September 21, 2010 at 11:37 am

I’ve always liked ratatouille. It was one of the first things on my repertoire when I started cooking. But this is a fab idea! I recently bought some fig balsamic and have been saving it since it’s kinda pricey. What else do you use it for?

The Duo Dishes September 20, 2010 at 11:02 am

The goat cheese is the perfect touch. Tangy and cool, next to that tower of veggies.

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