Quick Recipes and Easy

Classic Dishes of Provence – Ratatouille

Ratatouille

The archetypal Provençal vegetable dish – and still one of the best.

Some people cook ratatouille until the vegetables become a thick amorphous mass, with the individual components hard to identify. Still absolutely tasty, of course – but I prefer a lighter, fresher, slightly crunchier version with the different textures and tastes more easily discernible.

If you prefer the more traditional version, just cook it for a bit longer!

Always make more ratatouille than you need – it won’t go to waste!

Ingredients (for 6 servings):

2 large onions;
4 cloves garlic;
50ml extra-virgin olive oil;

1 kg ripe tomatoes;
1 large aubergine;
2 large courgettes;
1 large red pepper;
1 large yellow or orange pepper;

2 sprigs fresh thyme;
1 bay leaf;
salt and freshly-ground black pepper.

Method:

Peel and dice the onions. Peel, deseed and dice the tomatoes. Dice the aubergine, courgettes and peppers (unpeeled). Try to ensure that the pieces of vegetable are approximately the same size. Peel and crush the garlic.

Heat half of the olive oil in a large frying pan. Sweat the onions, peppers and garlic for about 5 minutes, until beginning to soften and colour slightly.

Add the chopped tomatoes and the fresh herbs. Allow to simmer over a gentle heat.

In a separate pan heat the remaining olive oil. Add the diced aubergine and courgette. Sauté quickly until just beginning to colour. (The aubergine will absorb a lot of oil so you may need to add extra.)

Combine the aubergine and courgettes with the onion, pepper, garlic and tomato mixture. Season to taste. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer gently for about 20 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked but still retain their individual textures.

Serve hot or cold.

How simple is that?

For more information on the food, wine, restaurants and recipes of Provence please check out the author’s web site at: cafe-de-provence.com cafe-de-provence.com



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