Ratatouille

Ratatouille

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.

ratatouille

The secret of a good ratatouille is to cook the vegetables separately so each will taste truly of itself.
—Joël Robuchon, The Complete Robuchon
Ingredients
  • 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

Method

Wash the vegetables and cut them into 2.5 cm cubes. Start sauteing the vegetables one by one on a high heat in a large skillet or wok. Start with the aubergines,IMG_9985

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.IMG_9992

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, peeledIMG_9993, 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.

IMG_0002

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.

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2 thoughts on “Ratatouille

    1. Thanks for your compliments. This is a very popular dish in the Med and several versions exist. In Sicily and Malta there is Capunata while in Spain there is Pistou. What distinguishes the traditional French Ratatouille in my opinion is the cooking of the vegetables separately, which helps them stay whole during the long slow cooking, causing the flavours to mingle in the most delightful manner.
      I like your take on this recipe, the chickpeas would give a nice nutty taste and the sweet potatoes look mouthwatering. I will definitely try it sometime as those vegetables come in abundance in our part of the world and we’re always looking for new flavours. Maybe a hint of cumin? Nice one!

      Liked by 1 person

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