Ratatouille is the perfect vegetable stew and wonderful with these fried polenta triangles - they are creamy and cheesy and just so, so good!
- 1 large can (26 oz/ 800 ml) whole tomatoes
- 3½ tbsp (75 ml) olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 small red onions, peeled and cut into 12 wedges each
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 large eggplant, cut into 2½ cm (1 in) chunks
- 2 zucchinis, cut on a bias into 1¾ cm (¾-inch) rounds
- 2 yellow capsicum (peppers), cut into 2½ cm (1 in) chunks
- 1 bay leaf
- 2-3 tsp finely chopped oregano
- 1 tsp finely chopped thyme
- 4 tomatoes, seeded and cut into 2½ cm (1 in) chunks
- 1½ tbsp (30 ml) red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup (20 g) finely chopped basil
- ½ cup (125 g) crumbled feta
- 3½ cups (830 ml) vegetable broth
- 2 cloves garlic, very finely minced
- ¾ tsp (8 g) kosher salt
- ¼ tsp (1 g) freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup (120 g) polenta (cornmeal)
- ½ cup (125 g) grated parmesan
- 1½ tbsp (10 g) finely chopped parsley
- Olive oil, for pan frying
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.
Chilling time: 2-3 hours
- For the polenta, Spray a 23 cm (9 in) square pan with cooking spray; set aside.
- Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add garlic, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in cornmeal. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Remove polenta from heat and whisk in parmesan and parsley. Pour polenta into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Refrigerate 2 to 3 hours until firm enough to cut.
- For the ratatouille, heat oven to 175°C (350°F).
- Place tomatoes with juice onto a rimmed baking sheet. Break tomatoes into bite-sized pieces with hands and drizzle with 3 tsp (15 ml) olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
- Heat 1½ tbsp (30 ml) olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until beginning to soften, 7 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add remaining oil, eggplant, zucchini and peppers and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add bay leaf, oregano, thyme, fresh tomatoes and roasted canned tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer. Cover and cook until tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, slice chilled polenta into 4 equal squares then cut each square into 2 triangles.
- Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Fry the polenta triangles until golden brown and crisp, about 4 minutes, flipping halfway.
- When ratatouille is tender, stir in vinegar and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in basil and sprinkle with crumbled feta. Serve with polenta.