Ratatouille, Ratatouille, Vegan, Vegetarian

Ratatouille – not exactly traditional but we love it!

Once every few weeks, I make Ratatouille. The choice can be for any or all of three reasons – we really like it, what’s in the fridge and its versatility. This rustic mix of vegetables is a firm favourite in this house where it is eaten alone, with roast chicken and steamed new potatoes, with steak and roast potatoes, with fish, with pasta, with rice…

There’s a fierce amount of chopping involved but it is so worth it. While I generally stick to the traditional ingredients, I have changed my cooking method. Instead of using the stove, I now prepare and cook it in a heavy casserole dish (lid on). I think the flavour is a tad deeper while the Teen thinks the cooking method has no effect on the flavour; she believes they taste the exact same. What I particularly like is the fact that I can pop it in the oven and not have to watch it!

French traditionalists will probably baulk at my approach and recipe. I invite them to my home any time if they want to cook the dish for me! 🙂

 

 Ratatouille

Ingredients
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large aubergines, cubed
2 large courgettes, cubed
2 red peppers (or yellow peppers), chopped
1 large onion, roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
4 tomatoes, skinned and chopped (or a tin of chopped tomatoes)
1 tablespoon tomato puree (a second can be added mid cooking if a more intense flavour is preferred)
2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence
2 teaspoons chopped parsley
Salt and ground black pepper
A heaped teaspoon of sugar (optional)

Method
1. Slice the aubergines lengthways, score and sprinkle generously with salt. Leave aside for about 30 minutes. Wash and then pat try. Chop into chunks
2. Preheat oven to 180C degrees
3. Heat the olive oil in a heavy casserole dish. Add the onion, cover and sweat for about 5 minutes
4. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2-3 minutes
5. Add the aubergines, peppers and courgettes. Cover and sweat for about 5 minutes
6. Stir in the tomato puree followed by the fresh or tinned tomatoes
7. Add the herbs
8. Season with salt and pepper
9. Cover and place in the oven for 30 minutes
10. Take out of the oven, stir and return for another 20 minutes. At this point, a second tablespoon of tomato puree can be added. Sugar may also be added if the tomatoes seem to make the mix a little bitter
11. Remove from the oven and leave to stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

 

 

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