Many of our attendees at this year’s Celebration of Mundelein enjoyed the napoleon-style salad that was served. We requested the recipe from the creative and gracious chefs at the Sheraton Chicago, and they generously shared it with us. Mark your calendars to attend next year’s Celebration on February 28, 2019. Bon appétit!
Vegetable Napoleon with Wild Berry Gastrique
3 large peeled carrots
4 Portabella mushrooms
2 Yellow squash
4 Roasted red pepper
1 Italian eggplant
1 Red onion
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
8 Slices Provolone
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8oz Goat cheese crumbled
Wild Berry Gastrique (Dressing)
1lb Mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup Water
1 cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons Lemon juice
The nice part about this dish is you can cut your vegetables as thick or as thin as you would like. The thinner you cut them the more layers you will be able to see when you take the napoleon out of the pan.
To make the napoleon: Cut the ends of your carrots, zucchini, yellow squash and eggplant to start. Peel your red onion, but leave the root end of the onion on to help give you something to hold onto while slicing. Next using a mandoline slicer set to the desired thickness, cut the vegetables lengthwise, and the onion into rounds. If the vegetables break a little while doing this step it is ok. When you build the napoleon these broken pieces will go unnoticed.
Scrape the gills from the underside of the portabella mushroom buy using a spoon. You do not need to scrape too hard to remove them. If you do push too hard you run the risk of breaking the mushroom.
For roasting the peppers, lightly put some oil in the outside with some salt and pepper and place them on a baking sheet. Put them in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until the skins are blistered, about 10 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and place them in a small bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 10 minutes. After they have rested, remove them from the bowl, remove the stems and seeds, and scrape the blistered skin off the pepper and discard.
Once you have completed the cutting of all the vegetables, toss them with the oil, chopped herbs, and salt and pepper. Place them in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-8 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and let cool until cool enough to handle. In a 12”x12” place some wax paper or parchment paper cut to fit the bottom of the pan, this will help unmold the napoleon more easily, and spray the pan with some pan spray.
Use the best looking, and largest vegetables for the first layer, because this is what everyone will see first. Start by placing the mushrooms in first, as they tend to stay intact the best. Then sprinkle some of the parmesan on top, and follow it on with the eggplant. Then place a few slices of provolone on top of the eggplant until it is covered decently well. Next lay down a layer of the carrots, followed with some crumble of goat cheese. Next you should layer some of the squash followed parmesan cheese. Keep alternating layers of vegetable and cheese until you have filled the pan, or you have run out of vegetables. The last layer of vegetable should not receive a layer of cheese afterwards.
Once you have finished all the vegetables, you should wrap the 8”x8” pan in plastic wrap, and then aluminum foil, and put in an oven set at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until you can stick a knife in the middle without any resistance, about 20-30 minutes. The thicker you cut the vegetables the longer it will take to cook. Remove the napoleon from the oven and let it cool off. Once cool, turn the pan upside down onto a cutting board, and lightly tap the bottom if needed to remove. Gently peel the paper off the napoleon, trying not to pull anything apart. Cover the napoleon and put in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve.
To make the wild berry gastrique: In a sauce pan combine all the ingredients together and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the mixture has reached the desired consistency (please note that when the gastrique cools the mixture will thicken up a bit more than while it is hot). Make sure that you stir the mixture while it simmers to help prevent any scorching or burning of the berries.
To serve: Remove the napoleon from the refrigerator and cut to the desired sized pieces. Add any leaf lettuce that you desire to the plate, dressed with your favorite white balsamic vinaigrette. Top everything with the desired amount of wild berry gastrique and enjoy.