Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Ratatouille or Provencal Vegetable Stew

Is this Provencal stew a 70s dish? I remember my mum making this as a child but don't seem to have heard of it recently.  Until I discovered we had an aubergine, courgettes, and a red pepper in the fridge...

2 onions, chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 aubergines, cubed
2 courgettes, halved lengthways & thickly sliced
2 red or yellow peppers, seeded & chopped to similar size as other vegetables
2 cans chopped tomatoes
salt & pepper
1 tbsp crushed coriander seeds

Fry onions and garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil until beginning to brown. Transfer to a large lidded pan.  Add another tbsp olive oil to the frying pan and fry the aubergine until beginning to soften and brown.  Transfer to the pan with the onions and garlic.  Add another tbsp olive oil and fry the courgettes same as the aubergines.  Then fry the peppers in the same way. Add the cans of tomatoes and coriander to the pan, season to taste, bring to a simmer, put the lid on turn the heat to it's lowest and leave to slow cook for 1 hour.  Check every now and then to make sure if it is not sticking to the bottom of the pan.  If it is you will need to be close to hand to stir frequently.

 The resulting stew should be quite thick and pulpy.  It can be eaten hot or cold and in my opinion is better the day after making!

Ratatouille can be eaten on it's own, with crusty bread, pasta, white fish, pork chops.  The list is endless.

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