This dish is named from the Occitan language spoken in southern France. From the words ‘ratatolha’, meaning ‘chunky stew’ (in French military slang, ‘rata’ was a mix of beans, potatoes and mixed vegetables with fatty meat), and ‘touiller’, meaning to toss, or stir up, food.
- 320 ml olive oil
- 5 zucchinis, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 eggplant, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 red onion, roughly chopped
- 3 red capsicums, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 8 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 small bunch basil, leaves picked
- Sourdough bread, to serve
- 100 g pitted black olives
- 100 ml olive oil
- 1 anchovy fillet (omit for vegetarian)
- 1 garlic clove
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.
Wine pairing: Penfolds Max’s Chardonnay, Adelaide Hills
1. For the ratatouille, into two frying pans, pour 80 ml (⅓ cup) oil and place over medium heat. When hot, add the zucchini to one pan and the eggplant to the other and fry until coloured. Pour the cooked vegetables into a sieve placed over a bowl to drain the oil. Set aside and reserve the pans.
2. Pour 80 ml (⅓ cup) of the remaining oil into each the reserved pans and place over low heat. Add capsicum to one and the onion to the other. Fry the onion until translucent and the capsicum until coloured. Once the onions are translucent, add the garlic and thyme and cook for another three minutes before removing from the heat. When the capsicum has coloured, add to the pan with the onion along with the zucchini and eggplant. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, then season to taste.
3. Meanwhile, for the tapenade, place all the ingredients into the small bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. The tapenade will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to seven days.
To serve, roughly chop the basil and sprinkle over the ratatouille. Spread the tapenade on the bread and serve on the side.
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