• Prosciutto & ratatouille platter

    Prosciutto & ratatouille platter

    At the festive time of the year it is all about being clever with what you have on hand and can supplement with a quick trip to the deli. Here’s a tasty twist on the Italian classic insalata caprese using up any left-over ratatouille that you’ve cleverly produced in a large quantity.

    Usually this Italian salad features alternating slices of tomato and mozzarella dressed with vinaigrette, chopped onion, capers and basil leaves. For this presentation I made little groups of a roll of prosciutto, spoonful of ratatouille, slice of mozzarella, basil leaf and, given that there was plenty of flavour in the ratatouille, finished the dish with just a drizzle of very good olive oil. Not only did it look appealingly festive but the mix of flavours and ingredients was both delicious and nourishing.
    If you don’t have time to make the ratatouille, substitute thick slices of very ripe, well-seasoned tomatoes and you’ll still present a beautiful platter. Choose a supple, elegant pinot like Dog Point and you’ll have the perfect combination.

    The Recipe

    Prosciutto, mozzarella and ratatouille platter (for about 10 people)
    20 fine slices prosciutto
    6-7 bocconcini (baby mozzarella), sliced thickly
    spoonfuls of ratatouille (see below)
    20 fresh basil leaves
    extra virgin olive oil
    For the ratatouille:
    Peel and slice two large red onions. Take 1 large red pepper (or 2 small), remove the pith and seeds and cut the flesh into strips. Chop 1 large unpeeled eggplant into cubes. Peel 4 tomatoes by first plunging into boiling water for 3 minutes. Chop roughly. Sauté the onion slices in 5 tbsp oil over moderate heat. When they have softened add first the peppers and then the eggplant. Cook gently for 10 minutes, lid on. Add the tomatoes, season well and cook gently, covered, for a further 30 minutes. Take off the lid and cook for 10 minutes more or until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
    To assemble: Softly roll the prosciutto slices. Pop one of these on a platter. Spoon a little ratatouille partly covering the prosciutto roll. Place a slice of mozzarella in front of this. Continue making the groups, stacking them against one another as you go. When all are completed tuck a basil leaf between each mozzarella slice and the piece of prosciutto in front of it. Drizzle the whole thing with olive oil and serve with plenty of bread.