Ratatouille

Obviously this is not English Cookery at all! But it is one of the things I do off the top of head these days as I’ve cooked so many times. I’d like to point out that whenever I’ve had a ratatouille made for me it’s always been rather insipid, watery and tasteless, but yet I’ve understood this because I love all the ingredients. It turns out that a ratatouille shouldn’t be all watery; like you get in those nasty tins, but silky and unctuous and oily where the sauce is made up of condensed tomato flavour, broken-down aubergines and olive oil- at least in the Nicoise style. Hopefully, if you cook this I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s the best ratatouille you’ve ever had! Now that is a grand claim!!

You will need:
1 large aubergine, sliced into 1/2 centimetre slices
1 large courgette (or 2 small), sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 green pepper, chopped
1 tin of tomatoes, opened
1 big tbs of tomato puree
6 tbs good olive oil (not extra virgin)
1/2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
salt, pepper

Method

  1. In a large pan, heat the oil until under a high heat and fry the aubergine slices on both sides until golden brown (you may have to do this in batches, unless you’re pan is huge!)
  2. Reserve the aubergine slices. Turn the heat down and fry the onion and pepper, add more oil if the aubergine absorbed it all. Add the herbs. When the onions are slightly softened, stir the aubergine slices back in along with the garlic. Fry gently – but don’t colour the onion- for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tinned tomatoes and puree and simmer slowly for at least 10 minutes, but 15 or 20 is best, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the aubergine’s break-down. Season well with salt and pepper.
  4. If it was me, I’d serve it with either sliced corned beef or scrambled eggs along with some crusty bread and butter.
  5. Enjoy!

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