Here’s a great recipe for a classic dish to help you make use of newly ripened summer greenhouse favourites
The secret to a good ratatouille is to make sure the vegetables retain their individuality and a bit of bite. If you’re cooking it on the hob, that really means cooking them in batches – and staying with the pan. Roasting the vegetables is much easier, and gives a wonderfully rich flavour.
I’ve included all of the traditional line-up here, but this is also a good way of preparing any of the main ingredients, in any combination – and the relative quantities are entirely negotiable.
Ingredients (serves 4)
2 small courgettes, halved lengthways and then sliced
1 small aubergine, quartered lengthways and then sliced
2 red or yellow peppers, cut into bite-sized chunks
1 large red onion, cut into eighths and separated into layers
10 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp harissa paste
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 large ripe tomatoes, cut into eighths
About 20 black olives, halved
3-4 large sprigs of thyme, separated into small sprigs
1. Put the courgette, aubergine, pepper, onion and garlic on a baking tray big enough to accommodate everything in a single layer. (You may need two trays.)
2. Mix together the olive oil, harissa paste and black pepper. Pour the mixture over the vegetables and stir them well so that everything is coated.
3. Put the tray into the oven at 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 for 15 minutes.
4. Add the tomatoes, mix the vegetables around, and return the tray to the oven for a further ten minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown at the edges.
5. Add the olives and thyme, mix everything again, and return the tray to the oven for a final couple of minutes.
6. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and serve immediately.Enjoy more Kitchen Garden reading in the monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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