28 Oct

Ratouille is a classic French vegetable stew of aubergines, peppers, courgette, onions and tomatoes, served as a side dish or with pasta.

I’ve tried a number of recipes for ratatouille over the years. Some insist that each vegetable is cooked separately before being layered together, but I’ve found that to be an unnecessary amount of faff.

The main thing is to cook the vegetables in the correct order, avoid overcooking, keep the seasonings simple, and allow the ratatouille to rest before eating at room temperature (or reheating).

(serves 4)

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and flattened
  • 2 aubergines, cubed
  • 2 red or green peppers, cubed
  • 1 tsp oregano (or thyme)
  • salt and pepper
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 3 medium courgettes, cubed
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tomatoes, cut into wedges
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over a medium-low flame.
  2. Add the onions and cook slowly for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the garlic cloves and cook a few minutes more.
  4. Add the aubergines and peppers and cook for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally and adding a bit more oil if necessary.
  5. Season with oregano, salt, pepper and add a pinch of sugar.
  6. Stir in the courgette and add the water. Increase the temperature to medium and bring to a simmer.
  7. Lower the heat, cover and leave to cook for about twenty minutes.
  8. Remove from the heat, stir through the tomato wedges and leave to rest, covered, for at least half an hour.
  9. Adjust the seasoning, reheat if desired, and serve.

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