Ratatouille is not just an animated film, but a vegetarian dish that uses some delicious summer vegetables. Whilst it makes an excellent side dish ratatouille is so much more than a vegetable accompaniment. It is a rich vegetable sauce which is ideal for use with freshly cooked pasta, as a baked potato topping or as a component part for many other recipes. Simple to make, and delicious to eat ratatouille is a finding end to all your hard work in the garden. Cooking in a large pots and pans allows the making of multiple portions which can be frozen for later recipe use or is ideal for parties.
- 12 large ripe plum tomatoes
- 10 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 large aubergines, tops removed and diced 3-4cm (1¼-1½ inch) thick
- 6 courgettes, tops removed, halved lengthways and sliced 2cm (¾ inch) thick
- 3 red peppers, tops removed, deseeded and roughly diced into 3-4cm (1¼-1½ inch) pieces
- 3 yellow peppers tops removed, deseeded and roughly diced into 3-4cm (1¼-1½ inch) pieces
- 4 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 6 tablespoons tomato puree
- 3 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons dried Herbs de Provence
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 4 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley.
- 5 x 1 litre (1¾ pint) plastic food boxes with lids or large freezer bags and ties
To prepare the tomatoes
- Fill the 3-ply Stainless Steel Preserving Pan 2½-3 litres of water and bring to the boil.
- Score across the base of each tomato with a sharp knife.
- Plunge the tomatoes into the boiling water for 20-30 seconds then remove, with a slotted spoon, and put into a bowl to cool. Empty the preserving pan.
- Once cool peel away the tomatoes’ skin and discard, roughly chop the flesh discarding any woody parts and set to one side until required.
To make the Ratatouille
- Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the preserving pan over a low to medium heat.
- Fry the aubergine until slightly browned, remove with a slotted spoon and set to one side.
Repeat the process with the courgettes and then the peppers but reducing the olive oil to 2 tablespoons each time.
- Add the remaining olive oil to the pan and fry the onions and garlic until softened.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, bay leaves, dried herbs, salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the semi-cooked vegetables and cook for a further 15 minutes over a low to medium heat. Stir frequently to prevent sticking and achieve an even distribution of heat. Add the parsley 2-3 minutes before the end of the cooking time.
- Check the seasoning, add a little salt if necessary. Spoon equal portions into the freezer boxes or bags.
- Put on the lids or ties and allow to cool before placing into the freezer.
Best used within 6 months of freezing. Once defrosted keep chilled and use within 48 hours.