Last week, I did a big vegetable shop in the Temple Bar market in Dublin. I ended up buying vegetables that were out of season but so appealing in their colours that I couldn’t leave them behind. Looking at them a week on, they made me want summer on a plate and nothing says summer to a Frenchie more than ratatouille. Maybe some Melon De Cavaillon but that’s about it!
So here am I on a wet and windy Saturday afternoon, ignoring the rugby and making the quintessential summer dish. It’s a real classic back home and it’s one of those recipes that every one adapts. So my ratatouille won’t be the one you get in a restaurant. And the way I’m cooking it today is for taste over looks. If I had guests I would make an effort on slice sizes and presentation but today it’s all about shoving it into the pot and enjoying the aroma wafting from the kitchen!
Ingredients (serves 4):
3 courgettes, 3 aubergines, 3 onions (medium), 1 large fennel bulb, 3 ripe tomatoes, 2 peppers, 3 cloves of garlic, 3 celery stalks, salt, pepper, herbes de provences, olive oil, drizzle of lemon juice.
Chop all your ingredients apart from the garlic. Cut the stalks in half (I use them for flavour but remove them before serving. In a large pot, heat up the oil on medium heat and add the sliced onions. Cook them until they’re slightly brown. Add the rest of the ingredients and sprinkle with the herbes de Provence. Let it cook on low heat for 30 min, stirring gently occasionally.
Remove the ratatouille from the heat, grate the garlic cloves and drizzle the lemon juice for extra sunshine. Voila!