Ratatouille

This is a very simple, rustic French dish. It originally comes from Nice.

Traditionally cooked in the autumn months when the ingredients are plentiful and fresh. It has become a main stay of healthy meat free cooking. It can be served hot or cold.

The  origin of the word, which comes from the French touiller, to stir, is first seen in  the late 18th century.But at the time refers to a meat stew. It is not until just before the 2nd World War  that it becomes associated with the fragrant loveliness we know today.

There are dozens of recipes, most agree on the ingredients, but not the cooking method. As always I have found, what I believe, is a tasty quick recipe.

rattyThere is a good article here – The Guardian , if you want to know a little more.

 

The traditional recipe calls for garlic, onions, tomatoes, aubergine, courgettes and peppers. I love to use chestnut or field mushrooms as they give an earthy, meaty flavour.

Not only is it healthy, but it will count as most of your 5 a day!

prep time 20 minutes  and cooking time of 25 minutes.

serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2  Aubergine (eggplant)

3 medium size courgette (zucchini)

3 cloves of garlic

400 g of  chestnut  or field Mushrooms

20 cherry tomatoes

1 large white onion or 4 shallots

1 green pepper

1 red pepper

250 g of passata or blitzed tinned tomatoes.

good pinch of thyme

small bunch of basil or 3/4 tbsp of dried basil

tbsp of demerara sugar

good slug of balsamic vinegar

 

METHOD

Cut all the veggies into 1 1/2 inch pieces.

Very thinly slice the garlic ( the thinner the better)

Coat the aubergine in salt and set aside for 15 minutes,  this will remove a lot of the juice and make it less bitter.

After 15 minutes give it a quick wash to remove most of the salt.

Heat a little olive oil in a large pan. Sweat off all the veggies and garlic (apart from the mushrooms)  for about 5 minutes. Then add all the other ingredients.

Simmer,  uncovered,  for 20 minutes. The sauce will slowly reduce and thicken as the juices come out of the food.

When the veggies are all soft but still individual, adjust seasoning and serve with crusty brown bread.

 

 

 

 

 

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One thought on “Ratatouille

  1. Love ratatouille, it’s one of my staples too. Have you tried roasting all the veg in a huge roasting pan first before adding the passata? It gives a different flavour which is very nice. Also I sometimes add butterbeans if I’m not having carbs with it. Oh and obviously personally I leave out the sugar but I expect it tastes nicer with it!

    Like

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