Nutri Natters

Rita’s blog for lovers of real food

A one-pot summer stew full of seasonal vegetables

18th July 2011

This is a recipe I posted about this time last year. It is such a seasonal favourite that it should be dusted down and shown the light of day every summer.

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

Here’s my version of it  – and I apolgise in advance- ritatouille.

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 is also good served cold. Try it with grilled chicken, white fish or a herb omelette and new potatoes.

Rita Carmichael
Nottingham, England
nutritional therapist and Metabolic Balance coach