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Creole Grilled Mirliton Ratatouille

This recipe is hugely tolerant to changing the ingredient quantities - it’s basically impossible to screw up. I got it from http://www.gumbopages.com/food/veg/creole-rat.html and Chuck Taggart.

Background

Mirlitons (pronounced MEL-lee-tawns or MER-lee-tawns) are a type of squash found growing wild and in backyards throughout southern Louisiana. They’re pale green, with a delicate flavor and a large, dense central seed. In other parts of the country, they’re called chayote squash. I’ve used them as the primary ingredient in this variation on the classic ratatouille that I find very tasty.

If you don’t want to grill the mirlitons and eggplant, you can instead brush them with olive oil and bake them on a sheet pan until half-cooked.

Ingredients

- 2 pounds mirlitons (chayote squash)
- 1 pound eggplant
- 1 pound onions
- 4 red bell peppers
- 2 pounds tomatoes (peeled, seeded and chopped)
- 10 cloves garlic
- 6 ounces olive oil
- 2/3 cup chopped parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons Creole seasoning, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 

Instructions

Cut the mirlitons in half and scoop out the seed, then slice into 1/2” slices. Peel the eggplant and slice into 1/2” slices. Slice the onions crossways 1/4” thick, then cut each slice in half to end up with semicircular pieces of onion. Core and seed the peppers and chop into 1/2” dice. Chop the garlic. Prepare the tomato concassé.

Brush the mirliton and eggplant slices with olive oil and grill (or bake) until about half-cooked. (Some nice cross-hatch grill marks would be particularly nice.) Sauté the onions and peppers in the remaining olive oil until half-cooked. Add the garlic, and sauté for one additional minute.

Cut the grilled mirliton and eggplant slices into large dice. Combine all the vegetables and seasonings into a brazier or heavy saucepan. Cover and cook in a 350°F oven for about 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and the flavors are well-blended. If the vegetables are too juicy, cook uncovered on the stove top for a few minutes to reduce, stirring frequently to avoid scorching.

Adjust seasonings. Serve hot or cold.

YIELD: About 20 four-ounce portions.

Comments

2 Responses to Creole Grilled Mirliton Ratatouille
1
Talia says:

I love that you wrote this at 6:00 am in the morning Tom :)

2010-07-07 13:13:35 -0700
2
Tom says:

Jet lag

2010-07-10 09:56:27 -0700