I had been waxing lyrical about French pastries until I had a chance to taste this stew, lavishly enhanced with the sunny flavours of Summer. Zucchini, aubergines and bell peppers are cooked together in a tomato based sauce to create this healthy Mediterranean dish.
There are numerous versions of this recipe but I like to prepare it the traditional way which involves separately cooking each vegetable and eventually combining them into the already cooked tomato base. I sometimes like to cook it in my beloved terracotta cooking pot which I bought from Spain just for this purpose.
I love this combination of the three main vegetables used in this recipe. I don't like my ratatouille to be watery so I simmer for a couple of minutes to let the water evaporate after adding the vegetables. I think you can use these Summer vegetables in a lot of different combinations, like my 5 A Day Veg Pasta pasta which is a wonderfully indulgent mainstay dish in my home.
Preparation: 30-40 mins
|onions||1 medium chopped|
|chopped garlic||1 tsp|
|blanched peeled tomatoes||3-4 tbsp|
|zucchini||2 medium cut in cubes|
|aubergines||2 small cut in cubes|
|bell peppers||2 medium cut in cubes|
|salt and black pepper||to taste|
|basil leaves||as needed|
Add some basil leaves just before serving. Serve with a French baguette or your favourite bread.
Tips: Aubergines absorb a lot of oil so I suggest leaving them with salt for a couple of minutes. Drain the water wash and pat dry before frying. This helps remove the bitterness of aubergines and they also absorb less oil.
Instead of going through the process of blanching and peeling the tomatoes you can use a can of peeled tomatoes.