This classic combination of the vegetables that grow abundantly in the south of France is infinitely flexible. Use the recipe as a guide for making the most of what you have on hand.
• Servings: 6 min
• Preparation Time: 20 min
• Cook Time: 1 h
• Ready Time: 1 h 20 min
• Cuisine: French
- 2 medium aubergines (about 450 g/1 lb total)
- 60-75 ml/4—5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, halved and sliced
- 2 or 3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
- 1 large red or yellow pepper, seeded and Cut into thin strips
- 2 large courgettes, cut into slices
- 675 g/11/2 lb ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped, or 400 g/14 oz/2 cups canned chopped tomatoes
- 5 ml/1 tsp dried herbes de Provence
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Preheat the grill. Cut the aubergine into 2 cm/3/4 in slices, then brush the slices with olive oil on both sides and grill until lightly browned, turning once. Cut the slices into cubes.
2 Heat 15 ml/1 tbsp of the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan or flameproof casserole and cook the onion over a medium-low heat for about 10 minutes until lightly golden, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, pepper and courgettes and cook for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3 Add the tomatoes and aubergine cubes, dried herbs and salt and pepper and simmer gently, covered, over a low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and continue cooking for a further 20—25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all the vegetables are tender and the cooking liquid has thickened slightly. Serve hot or at room temperature.
To remove the pepper skin and add flavour to the ratatouille, quarter the pepper and grill, skin-side up, until blackened. Enclose in a sturdy polythene bag and set aside until cool. Peel off the skin, then remove the core and seeds and cut into strips. Add to the mixture with the cooked aubergine.