Amanda A-mangia: Ratatouille

There is an ongoing debate about how to make a traditional ratatouille. One method is simply to saute all the vegetables together. Another method is to saute each vegetable separately before layering them into a baking dish and baking them in the oven. The third method is to saute the vegetables separately before gently stewing them together for a while longer to allow the flavours to combine.

INGREDIENTS

4 large tomatoes

6 large garlic cloves, crushed

1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Fresh or dried herbs of your choice

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of good olive oil

1 large brinjal, cut into cubes

2 large onions, quartered and sliced

3 bell peppers – green, red and yellow, cut into 3cm pieces

4 medium baby marrows, quartered lengthwise and cut into 2cm pieces

salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

Ratio of vegetable amounts may vary according to taste.

Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water and remove their skins.

Coarsely chop the tomatoes and saute in a 1/3 cup of oil, with the garlic, parsley and herbs for about 10 minutes. Set aside in a large bowl.

Toss the brinjal with a teaspoon of salt in a colander and let stand in the sink for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, saute the onions in 3 tablespoons of oil in a clean pan over medium heat, until softened. Transfer the onions to the bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of oil to the pan and saute the peppers until softened, about 10 minutes. Transfer the peppers to the bowl. Add 3 tablespoons of oil to the pan and cook the baby marrow until just tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to bowl with the other vegetables.

Pat the brinjal dry with paper towels. Add the remaining oil (about 1/4 cup) to the pan and saute the brinjal for about 10 minutes.

Add salt and pepper and simmer the vegetables for an additional 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

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