Not the rodent variety, but the family name for Ratatouille, reintroduced to me by Vanessa and Freddie a few years back. We've replaced their fine recipe by one that involves a bit of pre-sauteing in oil but seems to improve the flavours and textures enough to make the extra effort worthwhile. We know summer is here when the Rat ingredients arrive in the organic market...
- Cube and salt some eggplant and leave to drain
- After first soaking in boiling water to make it easy, skin and cube some tomatoes and leave to drain
- Prepare cubed courgettes and peppers, thick-cut onion and sliced garlic
The aim of the following is liberty, equality and raternity, but especially the equality - all items should be cooked just right for the final revolution:
- Same for the courgettes - make sure they're starting to cook through
- In the pot, sauté the courgettes in copious amounts of olive oil until just before turning brown. Best to do these first, as it leaves the drainees longest
- In the pan, do the same for the onion and peppers, sautéing them (in more copious amounts of olive oil) until just before turning brown. Add garlic and once the first hint of browning comes, ladle into your pot (timed for equality)
- Same for the (salt off-shaken and patted dryish) eggplant, slide them with all the yummy oil from pan to pot when done
- Add the tomatoes to the pot and heat through
Can be reheated often (but don't over-stew), or eaten at room temperature
Based on the essential olive oil companion by Anne Dolamore (with lovely illustrations by Madeleine David). Not an essential book, but good.