⅔ cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 medium onions, thinly sliced
4 tsp thyme, chopped
¼ cup red wine vinegar
4 large tomatoes, cored, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into ⅛-inch thick slices
2 large zucchini, cut into ⅛-inch thick slices
1 large eggplant, halved lengthwise, cut crosswise into ⅛-inch thick slices
2 large cloves garlic, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Makes about 12 servings
Preparing the Bayaldi
Preheat oven to 450ºF
Gently warm ½ cup of the olive oil in saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onions; cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in 2 tsp of the thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook, stirring often, until onions are very soft and blond-coloured (about 20 minutes). Stir in vinegar.
Spread onions over bottom of two 13- x 9-inch baking dishes. Alternating rows, arrange tomatoes, zucchini and eggplant across onions, overlapping slices and rows so that each slice half covers previous slice. Sprinkle with garlic and remaining thyme. Season with salt, pepper and cayenne. Drizzle 2 tbsp olive oil on top.
Baking the Bayaldi
Cover dishes with foil. Bake, switching positions of dishes and removing foil halfway through until vegetables are very soft (about 30 minutes).
Le Coze, Maguy & Ripert, Eric. (1998). Le Bernardin Cookbook. New York: Doubleday.