The definition of deconstructed is ‘to reduce something to its constituent parts’. We’re not sure we agree completely with this- we wouldn’t say there is any reduction going on here. This dish is such a showstopper, that we wanted to let everything from the ratatouille and feta to the garlicky ciabatta, absolutely shine!
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Dried Italian Style Herbs
Ciabatta(ContainsCereals containing gluten)
Preheat your oven to 200°C. Halve and peel the red onion. Chop each half into four pieces. Halve, then remove the core from the pepper and cut into 1cm wide slices. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Remove the stalk top from the aubergine, cut lengthways into 1cm wide slices (see picture), then halve the slices. Remove the top and bottom from the courgette, halve lengthways and cut each half into four long strips. Next chop those strips into batons roughly the length of your little finger.
Put the onion, pepper and half the tomatoes on a baking tray with a pinch of salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the dried Italian herbs, drizzle with oil and roast on the top shelf of your oven for 20 mins. Roughly chop half the basil (stalks and all). Put the remaining tomatoes in a bowl with the balsamic vinegar, a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix together and leave to the side.
Pop a frying pan on medium-high heat with a drizzle of oil. When hot, add the aubergine slices in one single layer (do them in two batches if you need to). Sprinkle over a pinch of salt and pepper and fry for 3-4 mins on each side until charred and soft. Once cooked, remove to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
Wipe out the pan with kitchen paper and return to medium-high heat (no oil). Season the courgette with salt and pepper. Add to the pan in one single layer and fry until browned all over, turning occasionally, 7-8 mins (you may need to do these in two batches as well). Remove the courgette from the pan and keep to one side. Cut the ciabatta in half (as if you were making a sandwich) and leave to the side.
Once the onion, pepper and tomatoes are cooked, take them out of the oven and turn your grill to high. Crumble the feta and sprinkle the chopped basil over the veggies, and stir together (don't worry if the tomatoes break up). Cover with foil to keep warm. Place the ciabatta halves on another baking tray under the grill and toast for 2-3 mins on each side.
Cut the garlic clove in half and rub the cut sides across the toasted ciabatta. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Put one ciabatta half on each plate, layer on the aubergine slices, then pile on the veggie-feta mixture. Pop the courgettes on top and finish with the balsamic tomatoes. Tear over the remaining basil. Enjoy!