Ratatouille Stuffed Beggar's Purse Recipe

Ratatouille Stuffed Beggar

I’ve made beggar's purses using crêpes as wraps in the past. They look incredibly elegant, but are not difficult at all to make. You could also simply fill the crêpes and fold them in half but I thought tying the purses with parsley stems was a nicer touch for Valentine’s Day.

This time, I filled them with ratatouille and Brie cheese. To the traditional ratatouille ingredients, I added sweet potatoes for a little firmer consistency. If you’re not serving this to vegetarians as I am, the beggar’s purse would make a great companion to steamed fish or a stuffed salmon filet.

Ingredients

Yields: 12 purses

12 crêpes, omitting the sugar
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, sliced
2 large eggplants
2 tablespoons Kosher salt
6 zucchini
2 white sweet potatoes (light tan), steamed and diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 cup fresh porcini mushrooms (or any other kinds), diced
½ pickled peppadew peppers, drained and chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 canned plum tomatoes, diced
2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence (see tips)
1 dozen green olives, pitted and chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
2 cloves garlic, cut into quarters
1-½ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
12 long parsley stems
1 (6-ounce) package Brie cheese, sliced


Directions

Preparing the parsley stem ties:

Make sure the stems are long enough (about 10 inches) and remove the leaves. 

Boil the stems in about a quart of salted boiling water. Cook for about 30 seconds until softened. Drain and immediately transfer into a cold water bath. Pat dry on towels. Remove as much liquid as possible. Set aside.

Prepping the zucchini and eggplants:

Trim both the zucchini and eggplants. Cut them in half, lengthwise and cut into ½-inch-thick slices. Layer a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet (to collect the excess moisture). Place the zucchini slices on the rack. Sprinkle with Kosher salt and let sit for about 20 minutes. I peeled the eggplants (but if you like, you can skip this step). Repeat the same procedure as the zucchini: Layer a cooling rack, place the eggplant slices and sprinkle with Kosher salt. Allow to sit for 20 minutes. Pat dry using paper towels.

Making the ratatouille filling:

Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan. Add the garlic and cook until golden. Transfer to a platter. Add the onions and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the onion from burning, until the color is evenly golden brown. Transfer to a platter.

Add more oil if necessary. Add the eggplant first, cook for about 5 minutes, then add the zucchini. Cook until nicely seared and softened (about 4 minutes on each side) over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the same platter with the juice.

In the same pan, add more oil. Add the diced carrots. Cook until caramelized. Add the sweet potatoes and porcini mushrooms. Return the onions and garlic into the pan. Toss well.

Lower the heat to low heat, add the tomato paste, canned tomatoes and return the eggplants and zucchini. Let the flavors blend, stirring frequently. Add Herbes de Provence, olives, lemon juice and peppadew peppers. Turn off the heat. Add the chopped parsley. Toss well. Check seasoning. Add more salt and pepper if necessary. Cover and let it sit for about 5 minutes.

 Ratatouille Recipe with Picture

Assembly time: Place a crêpe on the working space. Place a round of Brie in the middle of the crêpe. Spoon on about 2 tablespoons of ratatouille and tie the crêpe into a bunch using the reserved parsley stems. Place on a serving platter. Garnish with a small piece of Brie and sprigs of parsley.

Bon appétit!


Tips

You could replace the parsley stem ties with chives or green onions.

You could replace the crêpes with tortillas.

I didn't put a lot of cheese in the filling; even a small amount adds a subtle creaminess to the dish. I bought Brie cheese at Costco.

brie cheeese recipe with picture

You can find pickled peppadew peppers at Trader Joe's.

Herbes de Provence is a combination of herbs originating from the Mediterranean region. They're ideal for grilled meat, roasted vegetables, tomato sauce and ratatouille. You can create your own if you have the following ingredients: savory, fennel, basil, thyme, rosemary and lavender.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on February 14, 2011.


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