Nutri Natters

Rita’s blog for lovers of real food

A one-pot summer stew full of seasonal vegetables

30th July 2018

Aubergines, courgettes, peppers and tomatoes are abundant at this time of year. This colourful  vegetable medley makes the delicious French summer stew, ratatouille. There are as many recipes for ratatouille as there are provençal villages, with every cook adding their own twist. You don’t have to be exact with the quantities. Just throw everything in and see what magic occurs!

Here’s my version of it  – ritatouille (pun intended!).

Felicity's ratatouille 2                                            FElicity's ratatouille 4 smaller
Authentic Provençal tablecloth courtesy of French Shopping

Ritatouille (makes 4-6 servings)
1 large aubergine
2 courgettes
1 onion
1 large green or red pepper
3-4 large, ripe tomatoes (skinned)
handful of torn basil leaves or oregano
2 bay leaves
1-2 garlic cloves of garlic
black pepper
1 tablespoon of olive oil

How to cook: To skin the tomatoes, slit the skin and steep in boiling water for about 5 minutes; the skin should peel off easily. Roughly chop all of the vegetables. Gently heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onions and sweat them for a few minutes on a medium flame. Add the rest of the vegetables and stir them together. Throw in the herbs. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and place the lid on the pan. There shouldn’t be any need to add stock or water, as the vegetables make their own sauce, but add some if you think the stew is going to burn. Place the lid on the pan and cook for 40 – 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the crushed or chopped garlic at the end of cooking and remove the bay leaf before serving.

This stew tastes even better if reheated and eaten the next day; it’s also good served cold. Try it with grilled chicken, white fish or a herb omelette and new potatoes.