From Provence in the south of France, this simple recipe sings with summer vegetables – eggplant, zucchini, capsicum and tomato. Guillaume likes to cook the vegetables separately first, then combine them to cook to a glorious creamy stew that reminds him of childhood summers spent in Provence. Ratatouille was made before the family went to the beach and the flavours were perfectly melded by the time they arrived home.
- extra virgin olive oil
- 2 eggplants, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 zucchini, diced
- ½ bunch thyme, leaves picked
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 red capsicum, diced
- 1 kg tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 500 ml (2 cups) tomato juice
- bunch of basil, chopped
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat a generous splash of oil in a frying pan over low heat and add the eggplant and one-third of the garlic. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until tender. Tip into a large bowl.
Return the pan to the heat and add more oil. Add the zucchini, another third of the garlic, half the thyme and some salt and pepper. Sauté until tender, then add to the bowl with the eggplant.
Add more oil to the pan and sauté the onion, capsicum and remaining garlic and thyme until tender.
Combine all the cooked vegetables in a pot. Add the tomatoes and juice and simmer gently for 1½ hours. Remove from the heat, taste for seasoning and stir in the basil.
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