Simple Ratatouille

Simple Ratatouille

This recipe is taken from Healthy Comfort Dishes.

Ratatouille is not just for high summer. In fact, I almost prefer it as the weather starts to turn a little more blustery, as the flavours bring warmer day memories flooding right back. It is also a great Sunday ‘cook-up’ dish to prepare in advance for the week (or indeed, if you’re cooking ahead for a crowd), as it always tastes better a day or two after it is made.

To make this into a complete meal, I might crumble over some organic feta and a sprinkle of dried oregano, or enjoy it alongside some simply grilled fish or chicken. It’s also delicious tossed through salad leaves, no dressing needed – just use the olive oily juices! My ingredients list here is just a guide, so if you have more of one thing and less of another, do play around, adding a little chili if you love heat or more fresh green herbs, for example.

You’ll Need (Serves 6)

  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red onion, rough diced
  • 8 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 large peppers, deseeded and cut into strips
  • 1 aubergine, cut into batons
  • 2 courgettes, sliced
  • 4-5 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped (or 1 tin chopped tomatoes)
  • 1-2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • salt flakes
  • 1 tablespoon small capers
  • 1 large bunch basil (40g), torn or chopped
  • 2 tbsp apple cider or good sherry vinegar
  • A very generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

Step-by-Step

  1. Preheat your oven to 170/150 fan/Gas 3. You will also need a large, lidded casserole pot. It is best to peel, chop and slice all your ingredients before you start cooking.
  2. In a large frying pan, gently heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic together for a few minutes, until they have softened but not overly browned. Next, add the aubergine and peppers, and sauté together for a further 2-3 minutes, stirring well.
  3. Finally, add the courgettes, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and capers, along with half the basil, and a generous few pinches of salt and stir once or twice gently to combine.
  4. Remove from the hob, transfer to a large casserole pot and cover with the lid. Cook for 35-40 minutes in the oven.
  5. Once cooked, pour over the vinegar and allow it to cool completely, before stirring through the rest of the basil leaves and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

This keeps well in the fridge for 4 – 5 days, but is best served at room temperature, so bring it out at least 30 minutes before you need it.

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