So precise and pristine, so light and airy are these morsels of stuffed vegetables at right, you think you are dining on a cloud. Executive chef Joachim Splichal, above, of Max au Triangle in Beverly Hills, who creates works of art in cooking, used zucchini flowers (blossoms of baby zucchini), cherry tomatoes and baby corn squash. So-called "baby" vegetables, defined as those harvested very young, are now available at specialty food markets. Expensive, yes, but the impact on taste and the eye is the reward. However, if the exotic vegetables are unavailable, you can use regular vegetable counterparts and increase the ratatouille filling by doubling or tripling the recipe on Page 124.
PRODUCED BY ROBIN TUCKER.
TABLEWARE FROM GUMP'S, BEVERLY HILLS JOACHIM SPLICHAL'S STUFFED VEGETABLES 4 zucchini flowers 4 cherry tomatoes 4 corn squash Shrimp Ratatouille Yellow Tomato Sauce Raw Tomato Sauce Chopped fresh basil leaves, optional
Blanch zucchini flowers, cherry tomatoes and corn squash by cooking in rapidly boiling salted water 1 minute. Remove with slotted spoon. Drain. When cool, peel tomatoes and corn squash.
Stuff zucchini flowers, cherry tomatoes and corn squash with Shrimp Ratatouille. Place stuffed vegetables in a greased baking pan and bake at 350 degrees, 10 to 15 minutes. Spoon Yellow Tomato Sauce on one side of plate and Raw Tomato Sauce on other side of plate. Sprinkle chopped fresh basil down center, if desired. Arrange vegetables over sauce. Makes 4 servings. Shrimp Ratatouille Japanese eggplant, finely diced tomato, finely diced zucchini, finely diced 1 shallot, minced 1 small clove garlic, minced red pepper, finely diced Olive oil 2 basil leaves, cut into fine julienne pieces 10 Santa Barbara shrimp, diced Salt