Ratatouille for Lapinette

Chef Missy puts together a vibrant ratatouille.

Chef Missy puts together a vibrant ratatouille.

Chef Missy Corey is always in search of perfect pairings for Virtue's ciders. Upon her first taste of Lapinette, ratatouille, that Southern French stew of sauteed vegetables, sprang to her mind.

Missy visited the Fulton Street farmers' market in Grand Rapids and chose onions, bell peppers, eggplant, and summer squashes - patty pans and zucchini - from local farms.

The tomatoes in Missy’s ratatouille came from Matt Millar, chef of The Southerner in Saugatuck, MI. Matt lives right next door to Virtue farm and he canned these tomatoes the previous summer.

Missy’s ‘secret’ to bringing out the best in zucchini is to add a pinch of saffron which helps bring out the floral notes of zucchini blossom, and to add a cornmeal crust to make 'ratatouille pie'.

How did it pair with the Lapinette? Lapinette is able to stand up to dishes that are high in acid and one of the few ciders that can match in intensity the power of tomatoes. The dryness of the cider also pairs nicely with the richness of the vegetable medley.