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Any great ratatouille recipes?

(9 Posts)
glutoftoms Thu 24-Aug-17 08:10:13

I'm trying to steer away from my usual bitter veggie soup.
Felicity Clarke seems to favour oven roasting but I'm open to suggestions.

OP’s posts: |
AtleastitsnotMonday Thu 24-Aug-17 14:41:08

I always do it in the oven, lots of garlic and olive oil, add a tin of tomatoes sweetened with a spoonful of sugar about half way through. Cook low and slow.

glutoftoms Thu 24-Aug-17 16:22:34

Thanks At, do you do it all in the oven or just roast the veg?

OP’s posts: |
AtleastitsnotMonday Thu 24-Aug-17 16:30:57

No I do the whole lot in the oven.

kersh33 Thu 24-Aug-17 17:17:37

This is my MIL's recipe (she is from Provence) that I have very slightly adapted. I find it quite different from other ratatouilles I've had in England (it has next to no tomatoes in and is more grey/brown than red) but honestly it's the best I've had. I wait every year for courgettes and aubergine to be in season so I can cook it again!

Quantities are always pretty approximative in terms of veg ratios - there is a small amount of trial and error. You will need:

2 good size aubergines
4 courgettes
2 red peppers
2 tomatoes
200g smoked lardons
4-5 cloves of garlic
1 onion (optional - I can't use it because of my OH)
thyme (fresh is best, but I've also used dried from a jar)
2 bay leaves

Peel and finely slice the garlic cloves.
Ensure the lardons are a regular size, cut up any that are too big.
Slice the onion finely (if using)
Wash and dry the aubergine, then slice into rounds about 1 cm thick, then cut each into cubes - about 2.5 cms in length. Don't worry too much about exact sizes.
In a large saucepan (I use my pressure cooker), warm about 2 tbsp of olive oil. You'll want the oil fairly hot.
Chuck in the lardons - they should sizzle and start to brown. The fat should start to render.
Once the lardons have browned all over, turn down the heat and chuck in the garlic and onion.
While the garlic softens, you can wash and dry the courgettes. These I slice in rounds about 30mm thick and then slice in half.
Keep a eye on the garlic and onions, they should be softening not browning - give it a stir from time to time. When the garlic and onions are soft, chuck in the aubergines and give a big stir. It doesn't matter if the bacon has stuck to the bottom a bit. Put the lid on to keep in the moisture and stir from time to time.
Wash and dry the peppers and then slice into squares of about 1 to 1.5 cm on each side.
When the peppers are done, chuck in the courgettes and stir again, trying to get an even distribution of courgette and aubergine. Replace the lid.
Boil some water and pour into a heatproof bowl over the tomatoes. Leave them for a couple of minutes.
Chuck in the red peppers, stir and replace the lid.
Lift the tomatoes out of the water. You should be able to peel the skins easily. Then remove the central core and the seeds. Roughly chop the flesh and then add to the rest.
You should start to see some of the liquid coming out of the vegetables.
Put in 2-3 bay leaves depending on size and then I would say about 8-10 branches of thyme, otherwise about 2 tsps of dried thyme.
Stir, making sure to push down the herbs into the liquid.
Leave to simmer uncovered (it should be a slow bubble) for an hour or until the liquid levels have reduced, stirring from time to time. I leave it until the bottom just starts to stick when I come to stir. I generally think the longer you can leave it the better - it shouldn't be soupy at all.
Voila - you're done!

It is a bit time consuming - but I generally cook this ahead of time on the weekend and then eat it during the week - it's even better when reheated!

glutoftoms Thu 24-Aug-17 17:34:09

Kersh, that looks amazing, I'll have a go next week. We have so many courgettes and tomatoes.
Tonight's it's roasted in the oven, so far it looks a bit bland.

OP’s posts: |
kersh33 Thu 24-Aug-17 17:51:32

Good luck! I hope you enjoy it. smile

I learnt from watching my MIL cook it - realised as I was typing it out that's it's much easier to show then describe! But it is really delish... I have a tupperware full that we will be having for dinner tomorrow. Not sure whether I'll do another one this year - so it might be the last of the summer... sad

Jealous of your tomato and courgette glut - we luffs tomatoes here - we have tomatoes in salad about 4 or 5 times a week.

Another thing I do with tomatoes which uses up a lot is Bruschetta - I basically cut the tomatoes up in small cubes, chuck into a bowl with a fair bit of olive oil, a bit of salt and a whole bunch of (fresh) basil torn into small pieces.

I then slice some panini into halves, rub with a cut clove of garlic, drizzle with olive oil and stick under the grill. An optional extra is to cut up a mozzeralla ball into slices. Once the panini is toasted, I chuck it back under the grill with the mozzeralla. Once it's melted, serve it heaped with the tomatoes which should have macerated in the olive oil and be all lovely and juicy. I can easily get through 8 to 10 tomatoes just for me and other half. But as I said - we love tomatoes!wink

glutoftoms Thu 24-Aug-17 20:26:44

Kersh, that bruschetta with mozzarella sounds the perfect bank holiday lunch and I have all the ingredients. I'm also thinking of making a sweet tomato jam at the weekend, don't suppose any fab recipes up your sleeve?

OP’s posts: |
AlternativeTentacle Thu 24-Aug-17 20:35:04

Ratatouille was one of the first meals I learnt how to cook, straight from the Pooh Corner Cook Book. smile

Now I still make it [40 odd years later] the exact same way, I just add chopped olives and sun dried toms and make my own bread [rather than at the time - a new style posh baguette from Tescos]. Happy days.

So sweat some onions in some oil, add some chopped courgettes and cook those with the onions for a few mins, add a tin of chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper and a spoonful of sugar. Lid on and cook for around 25 mins. remove lid, to allow steam to escape, serve in dishes with buttered bread and cheese grated on top. So easy a 9 year old me can make it.

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