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A summer ratatouille

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Sunshine in a plate, this Provencal specialty embraces seasonal produce and is delicious warm or cold year round. Summer is peaking and I suggest this sunny version, part grilling, part baking the vegetables. Why not enjoy it at room temperature with some tuna or anchovies, maybe olives? If you feel a need  to add some protein, why not poached or confit fish, or stewed chickpeas? Enjoy!

Serves 4+
Simple
Prepare in 20, cook in 1h

Prepare the caramelized onions
Slow cook the onions with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in a non stick pan for an hour on low heat. Do not stir them, they will take care of themselves.

Prepare the tomato sauce

  1. Chop the tomatoes, keep the juices if you can, and cook down on low with the aromatics for 1 hour. Stir occasionnaly.
  2. When the tomatoes combine into a thick sauce, discard the herbs but keep the garlic.

Prepare the ratatouille

  1. Salt the eggplant on both sides and rest at least 15 minutes, up to an hour. Once the moisture surfaces, pat dry with a paper kitchen towel.
  2. Get a (indoor or outdoor) grill hot, and grill the zucchini, eggplant and peppers on both sides until nice grill marks are formed.
  3. Preheat your oven to 170ºC.
  4. Lightly oil a skillet or oven proof dish -round is nice, and about 20cm diameter.
  5. Spoon the tomato sauce at the bottom of the dish and reserve about 2 tablespoons to garnish at the end.
  6. Alternate the vegetables on top, overlapping them slightly to form a nice crown and packing them well next to the other as they will shrink when they cook.
  7. Fill the gaps with the remaining tomato sauce.
  8. Add extra thyme and bake in the oven for at least 30 minutes or until soft and cooked through.
  9. To serve, garnish with the caramelized onions.

 
 

For the tomato sauce

  • 4 tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp sea salt

For the ratatouille

  • 2 onions, finely sliced
  • 1 zucchini, in 1cm thick slices
  • 1 small eggplant, in 1cm thick slices
  • 1-2 sweet yellow pepper, sliced
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil

 

recipe tip: 
If you are on a hurry, use good quality canned peeled tomatoes for the sauce!
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