Ratatouille (pronounced rat-a-too-ee) is a traditional French dish made by stewing vegetables. It’s usually served as a side dish, but it can also be a meal in itself (accompanied by pasta, rice or bread). We cook the vegetables separately first to make sure they keep their individual flavours.
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
3 cloves garlic
Large handful of basil leaves
6 x 5ml spoons olive oil
1 x 400g can plum tomatoes
3 x 15ml spoons red wine vinegar (optional)
1½ x 5ml spoons sugar
Black pepper (optional)
- Wash the aubergine, courgettes and peppers thoroughly. Cut the ends off the aubergine and courgettes and trim the stalks from the peppers.
- Cut the courgettes into 1cm thick slices and the aubergine into 2cm dice. Remove and discard the seeds from the peppers and cut the flesh into 3cm chunks.
- Peel and finely chop the onion and peel and crush the garlic. Tear the basil leaves.
- Heat 2 x 5ml spoons of oil in the saucepan on a medium heat, add the aubergine and cook for 2 minutes. Remove the aubergine from the pan using a slotted spoon and place on a layer of kitchen roll on a plate to cool.
- Add another 2 x 5ml spoons of oil to the saucepan and cook the courgettes on both sides for 2 minutes so that they start to brown lightly but are not too soft. Remove the courgettes from the pan to cool.
- Repeat the process with 1 x 5ml spoon of the oil and the peppers until they are cooked through – but do not cook for any longer than 3 minutes. Remove from the saucepan and set aside to cool.
- Add the onion and garlic to the same saucepan with the last 5ml spoon of oil and cook for about 4 minutes or until they are soft.
- Open the can of plum tomatoes and stir them into the onions and garlic. Reduce the heat and use the wooden spoon to break up the tomatoes into smaller pieces.
- Add the red wine vinegar (if using), the sugar and half the torn basil. Cook gently, stirring, for 2–3 minutes.
- Add the cooked aubergine, courgettes and peppers to the saucepan of tomatoes and add black pepper to taste (if using). Stir through for 1 minute. Cover and cook on a low heat for 10–15 minutes.
- Scatter the remaining basil leaves on top of the Ratatouille before serving.
Skills used include:
Washing, measuring, peeling, chopping, crushing, boiling/simmering and frying