A Ratatouille style filo pastry purse, great for a summery lunch. Full of freshness and crunchiness. This filo purse, or in France called an 'aumônière' is not only a cute eye-catcher, but also fairly easy to make!
Find yourself on a warm sunny Mediterranean coastline with this delicious plant based recipe;
Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
🥘 Main ingredients
- aubergine (eggplant)
- courgette (zucchini)
- bay leaf
- filo pastry (Also called Phyllo / Brick)
I love the freshness and the summery feel of this dish. The courgette and aubergine give a nice hearty texture, while the fresh tomatoes and herbs send you right to the Mediterranean coast line.
The herbs are easily adjustable to your own preference. You could use rosemary, herbs de Provence, savory or marjoram instead of the thyme. I would not advice to put basil into the vegetable mixture as it will be re-heated while being baked in the oven. But basil does pair well, so feel free to sprinkle some over the dish just before serving.
💭 Top tips
Chop the aubergine and courgette in equal sized cubes. This is easier for the cooking process, but also tastier. It is nice to still have recognizable textures in the filling of the filo parcel. You wouldn't want to end up with a mushy vegetable mixture, which would make you feel like eating a puree. 😉
There fore it is very important to simmer the vegetables only on a very low simmer (as low as possible). This will prevent them from becoming mushy.
If you end up with too much liquid in your ratatouille. Drain the vegetables (after they are cooked) and reduce the liquid on its own on high heat into a syrup.
I haven't mentioned this in the recipe card, but it would be of great flavour advantage to make the ratatouille mixture one day ahead. This will give more time for the fresh vegetables and herbs flavours to integrate.
There is a short step-by-step video in the recipe card!
🥗 Serving suggestions
I developed this recipe during the first week of April. So we have our local (south of France) green asparagus, and the very early local summer tomatoes. These are the perfect accompaniments for this aumônière.
The tomatoes simply dressed with olive oil, white balsamic vinegar and salt & pepper. And the asparagus just very shortly pan grilled, with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Simple and minimalistic is its strength here.
But of course, you might enjoy this Ratatouille filo purse in another season. Or as a larger dinner dish. Some suggestions on other accompaniments include ;
Another interesting option with these parcels is to use them as a little snack or aperitif. You can make the 'purses' in bite-size snacks and serve them at a dinner party. A bit of work is required, but the good news is that they can be made ahead of time. *Make sure the vegetable mixture is not too wet if they are made in advance.
🍷 Wine pairing
This dish is definitely to be enjoyed with a nice glass. As we are currently just hitting the sunny times. My first suggestion would be; Rosé! A Rosé rich and full of red fruits. Rosés from the Languedoc in France are well known for their fruitiness. Or a beautiful 'Mourvedre' Rosé from Bandol would pair beautifully. But for other options you can try a Rosé from the Rioja (tempranillo) , or some new world rosés which are fruity and medium to full bodied.
If you are planning this recipe as a dinner dish, with possibly richer accompaniments. Don't be shy to go for a red. The depth and herby flavours in this dish can easily deal with a medium bodies red. An Italian Chianti or an Australian Shiraz would work. But if you want to keep things local, than stay within the area of origin of the dish, which in this case would be a Syrah from the Rhone valley. Santé!
I hope you enjoy this Ratatouille filo purse as much as I do. Please leave a comment , or add @haricoco1 to your Insta post.
Summery aumônière recipe
- ½ Aubergine eggplant, diced
- ½ Courgette zucchini, diced
- 1 small onion diced
- 3 to matoes 1 diced (keep liquid), 2 thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves sliced
- 2 asparagus sliced lengthwise
- 5 sprigs of parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 3 Tablespoons of quality olive oil
- ½ Tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- Chop all the vegetables in similar sized cubes.
- Heat ( medium heat) 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a pan. Sauté the onions with a pinch of salt until they are softened but not browned. (approx. 4 - 5 minutes)
- Add the aubergine cubes and stir them through the onion, until they start to soften (approx. 4 minutes depending on your cube size)
- Add the sliced garlic and stir well through the vegetables. Leave for 1 minute.
- Add the cayenne pepper, the freshly chopped thyme, bay leaf and parsley, stir it well through the mixture.
- Stir in the chopped tomato, including its liquid.
- Cover with the lid, and leave on a very bare simmer for 15 minutes.
- After 15 minutes add the courgette cubes, cover with the lid, and leave to simmer on low heat for another 30 minutes.
- Check if all vegetables are cooked. The ideal situation is that the vegetables are cooked but still keep their shape (so a light firmness).
- Discard the bay leaf and parsley.
- If there is too much liquid in your pan. drain the vegetables and reduce the liquid on high heat until you reach a syrup consistency. You can add the vegetable back into the pan if the liquid is reduced.
- Season the vegetables very well with sea salt and black pepper, leave to cool.
- Pre-heat the oven to 210 C / 410 F
- Prepare your filo pastry. (check on the package when to get out of the fridge, normally 30 minutes before use)
- Use 2 or 3 layers of filo pastry per parcel (this depends on the filo pastry and on your personal preference)
- Oil the layers of filo pastry before you layer them one over the other.
- Layer them cross wise over each other.
- Place about 4 large Tablespoons (or more, or less, depending on the size of parcel you prefer) in the middle of the filo pastry.
- Use the points of the squares to fold the filo into a purse shape. And twist slightly, and carefully to tighten the purse shape.
- Tie a cooking string around the pastry so it will keep its shape while baking
- Place the filo parcels (with this recipe amount, I make 3 parcels) on a baking tray, and bake for 10 - 12 minutes in a hot oven 210 C / 410 F.
- Meanwhile you can start plating your plates with the sliced tomatoes.
- Dress the tomatoes with olive oil , white balsamic vinegar, and salt & pepper.
- Pan grill the sliced asparagus in a hot pan (grill). Only 2 minutes each side, drizzle with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.
- Add them to your plate.
- Decorate with micro greens or herbs (basil)
- When the aumônières (parcels) are ready, take them carefully out of the oven with a spatula and put them on the plate with the garniture.