I made this traditional recipe for some very special guests. I will introduce them in good time. Ratatouille is a stew of the vegetables that are so prevalent in the Mediterranean in the summertime; aubergines, courgettes and sweet peppers, which originated in Nice and has been adopted by the Provence region. The circumstances dictated that I prepare a copious amount of the stuff, roughly enough for twelve portions but it is easy enough to calculate how much you want to prepare. Just keep in mind that you need approximately an equal amount of all the vegetables, maybe slightly less tomatoes.
—Joël Robuchon, The Complete Robuchon
- Aubergines 1Kg
- Italian Zucchini 1Kg
- Green and Coloured Peppers 1 Kg
- Onions 1 Kg
- Tomatoes 900 g
- Garlic one head
- Olive Oil 300 Ml
- Basil a bunch
- Salt 2 tsp
- pepper 1/2 tsp
brown them in some of the oil and move them with a slotted spoon to a casserole dish or a large pot. Repeat the process with the courgettes, making sure there is enough oil as the aubergine absorbs a lot of oil. Repeat with the peppers and onions together.
If your skillet or wok is too small do them in batches so you can get enough heat. Once these vegetables are all in the pot add the tomatoes, peeled, seeded and roughly diced, the garlic, finely chopped and the salt and pepper. Add one cup of water and bring to the boil. Lower the temperature to very low, cover and simmer for an hour. Remove the cover and simmer for another 30 min until most of the liquid is gone. The vegetables should retain their shape even though they are cooked for a long time.
This is often served as accompaniment but is also served on its own with crusty baguette, rice or pasta. It can be served warm or cold and is even more delicious the next day so don’t throw away the leftovers.
Tip: To peel tomatoes score a cross in the end and plunge in boiling water for a minute. Then plunge in cold water. The skin should peel easily now.