13 Mar Ratatouille
13 March 2020
PREP. TIME: 20 MIN - COOK TIME: 40 MIN - SERVES: 5
There is no question that this vegetable stew would have to be one of the quintessential Provencal dishes of late summer. When all of the ingredients are in peak season, it smells delicious, it tastes delicious and it is ever so easy to make. It is an excellent accompaniment to roast chicken, barbecue lamb, grilled fish, omelettes and scrambled eggs or just with some first class bread and butter. It was not uncommon on beach holidays for us to prepare this while roasting a chicken before we headed off for a swim. The most excellent lunch you can imagine!
For a smooth, creamy consistency, I recommend some patience and that you soften each vegetable before adding the next. Serve warm, cold or at room temperature; If there is any left over store in a screw cap jar in the fridge for an appetising snack a little later.
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion
1 large eggplant
2 medium to large zucchini
2 large capsicum ideally 1 yellow, the other red or green
2 large tomatoes
1 large sprig of basil or oregano
Chopping board; Paring knife; Large frypan or other shallow pan with a fitted lid, Wooden spoon
Step 1. Prepare all of your ingredients
Peel and finely slice the onion.
Rinse and dry the other vegetables.
Cut the green cap off the eggplant, slice it in half lengthways - lay each half flat, cut into 1cm thick slices longways and then 1cm slices across to get small, even size dice.
Top and tail the zucchini, slice in half cross ways. Cut into small even 1cm dice as you did for the eggplant.
Cut the capsicum in half lengthways. Remove the membranes and the seeds. Cut into thick slices.
Chop the tomatoes roughly - reserving the juice and the seeds.
Step 2. Cook the Vegetables
Place the pan over moderate heat and add the olive oil and the onion
Gently cook the onion . Add a teaspoon of salt and keep the heat relatively low to prevent it from browning. Stir to cook until it is soft and translucent - this may take 5 - 10 minutes
Add the eggplant - turn the heat up a little and cook for about 5 -10 minutes until it begins to soften - do not brown
Add the zucchini and cook until it softens without browning it - about 5 minutes
Add the capsicum and stir it into the other vegetables for about 3 minutes
Add the tomatoes and the basil or the oregano
Continue stirring until the ingredients begin to amalgamate. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and cook covered for about 35 minutes
The Ratatouille is cooked once all of the vegetables have softened, and other than the pieces of capsicum, have amalgamated into a delicious puree.
If you are planning to eat the Ratatouille in the next few hours, remove it from the heat and cover with a cloth to protect it from bugs or animals. It does not need to be refrigerated during this time.
Recipe by Elizabeth Peddey
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