Ratatouille is one of my favourite meals of all time, and I’m fairly certain I do not stand alone when voicing this opinion. It’s a meal that warms you from the inside out, it is staggeringly good for you, and I mean literally staggering, you need to be sat down when eating this plate of goodness because if not, you’d be all over the place while your body come to grips with just how good it is for you. Am I wrong? I think not.
About two months ago I started a new job (yay), hence why I’ve been off the radar for about long, as time needed to be spent absorbing waves of new information, coming to grips with everything that the job entails, working overtime and forming my opinions about this slight change of career direction. Simply put, I’ve been grateful for the musical stylings of Chance the Rapper, Lana Del Rey, and Frank Ocean over these past few weeks.
The weekend before I started I wanted to cook something wholesome and comforting that would also set me up for lunches for the week, and would easily keep if plans changed, which they did. Aubergines and courgettes had been stocked in their masses at my local grocers and Bio c Bon so I went for it and cooked this beautiful platter-full of delicious ratatouille which I can honestly say, was the best I’ve ever made and one of the best I’ve ever eaten. Own your success, people, no matter how big or small. Ratatouille recipes can vary greatly, however I used the lovely Nigel Slater’s version as a base in terms of quantities and then took my spin on from there. Heads up, I used two of my biggest saucepans for this dish and split the ingredients between the two.
– 2 red onions, diced
– 4 cloves of garlic finely sliced
– 2 aubergines, cut into chunks
– 2 courgettes, cut into chunks,
– 2 red bell pepper, cut into chunks
– 4 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
– 400g tin chopped tomatoes
– 1tbsp balsamic vinegar
– 1/2tbsp red wine vinegar
– Bunch fresh basil, leaves picked off, half put to the side, the other half and stalks roughly chopped
– 3 sprigs thyme
– 1 lemon
– Extra virgin olive oil
– Heat a few lugs of olive oil in the pan(s) on a medium heat and add the vegetables, stirring often but allowing them to soften and colour slightly over the course of about 5-10 minutes, before removing them and placing to one side in a covered bowl.
– Next, add the onions and garlic into the pans along with the basil and thyme and heat for about 10 minutes. You can of course add more oil if necessary.
– Bring back the vegetables and slowly mix, allowing the flavours to marry, before adding all of the tomatoes (both types are including for the full tomato-y experience and texture), the vinegars and a generous seasoning of fresh, cracked black pepper and sea salt.
– Cover the pans, bring the heat down so the liquid is simmering and leave, stirring occasionally for 30-35 minutes.
– Grate the lemon zest over the dish, add the remaining basil leaves and stir before spooning into bowls, make sure you have some bread on the side with which to mop up the juices.