Still on the French mission – to veganize traditional French recipes. And Ratatouille is a pretty easy one, which I made using lovely fresh produce from the local markets we encountered.
2 large courgettes (or 5 or 6 small ones)
3 cloves garlic
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
2 or 3 bay leaves
herbs de provence
salt and pepper
What to do:
1 Ahead of the cooking, quarter and slice the aubergines, sprinkle with coarse salt and leave to stand for an hour or so. Rinse and drain well. Many people do not do this, but I believe it really does take out the bitterness.
2 Coarsely slice the courgettes, coarsely chop the onions.
3 De-seed the peppers and chop coarsely.
4 Roughly chop the tomatoes. Some recipes call for the tomatoes to be skinned and de-seeded, but I think this is unnecessary.
5 Finely chop the garlic.
Bit of a note here – the traditional recipe calls for the dish to be finished in the oven. Here on the boat we don’t have an oven so I cooked it in a pot on the stove.
6 Heat a generous splash of olive oil in a frying pan. Saute the courgettes gently till turning golden. Transfer to an ovenproof casserole, leaving as much oil behind.
7 Cook the onions in the frying pan till softened, and add to caserole dish.
8 Then saute the peppers in the pan till softened, and add them also to the casserole.
9 Adding more oil if necessary, now cook the aubergines in the frying pan until turning golden, and then add to the othe ingredients in the casserole.
10 Saute the garlic in the pan for a few minutes, and then add the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and cook till the tomatoes are very soft.
11 Transfer the tomatoes and garlic, along with the thyme and bay leaves, to the casserole.
12 Cover and cook in oven at 180 Deg C for about 20 mins. Uncover and cook for another 25 mins or so.
Let it cool a bit to serve, but like mostof this type of recipe it is best left for a day to draw.
Serve at room temperature, however you like, but best accompanied by a good red wine!
Subsequent to writing this, I made the dish again, in the oven this time, and served up with brown rice and (bought) vegan burgers.