Ratatouille recipe

The basic ingredients for ratatouille, the classic French vegetable dish, are all in season: aubergine, courgettes, red peppers and tomatoes. So why not try this tasty and versatile dish?

Here’s my version:

Ingredients:

4-5 tablespoons of olive oil or more if required

Two medium onions, sliced

Two cloves of garlic, finely chopped

One large aubergine or two smaller ones, sliced into thin rounds and then halved

4-5 courgettes, preferably small, sliced into rounds

2 sweet red peppers, chopped into smallish chunks

4-5 large, ripe tomatoes, skinned and chopped or a tin of tomatoes, drained

Fresh herbs, such as parsley or coriander

1 teaspoon of coriander seeds, crushed

Method:

You’ll need a pan with a heavy base; a Le Creuset casserole dish works well.

The secret of a good ratatouille is to cook the vegetables separately or at least by adding them to the pan in the right order. The latter is less time consuming and I’ve found that it works perfectly well.

Off you go. Heat the oil and fry the onions and until they are soft. Then add the aubergines and cook them for at least five minutes. Add more oil if necessary. The courgettes go in next followed by the peppers and garlic. Cook for at least 30 minutes and then add the tomatoes and crushed coriander. Cook for another 30 minutes or so until the ratatouille is soft but not mushy. Finally, add the fresh herbs and serve.

How to enjoy ratatouille:

This dish works well served hot with chicken, pork or lamb. Ratatouille is also delicious served cold, but remember to take it out of the fridge in advance. I think that ratatouille tastes even better a day after it’s been made when the flavours have really mingled.

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