Friday, 9 August 2019

Ratatouille à la Nicoise

I'm not a vegetarian but I often eat a vegetarian meal. This recipe is one I come back to again and again. It's from Jane Grigson’s Vegetable Book. Jane, to my mind, is unsurpassed when it comes to the cooking of vegetables. This is a lovely recipe but I don't always keep strictly to it. You can adapt according to the vegetables you have available. It can be eaten hot or cold.  

Ratatouille à la Nicoise 

Serves 8-10

500g aubergines
500g courgettes
500g tomatoes, skinned
2-3 sweet peppers 2-3
2-3 onions large, sliced
4 tbsp olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
pepper, sugar, vinegar to taste
¼ tsp coriander seeds, crushed
fresh basil or parsley leaves

Slice the aubergines and courgettes. Put them in a colander, sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt and leave for an hour to drain. Pat them dry with kitchen paper. Chop the tomatoes roughly. Remove the stalks and seeds from the peppers and cut them into strips.

Cook the onion slowly, without browning it, in the olive oil with the garlic. As it softens, add the aubergines and peppers. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Put in the tomatoes and courgettes. Season with salt, pepper, and a little sugar and vinegar if the tomatoes lack flavour as they often do. Cook steadily without covering the pan until all wateriness has disappeared – about 50 minutes. Ten minutes before the end, add the coriander. The vegetables should retain a certain identity, so do not crush them to a puree, although they should be stirred vigorously from time to time. Serve hot or cold, sprinkled with basil or parsley.

Jane Grigson's Vegetable Book

 The Daily Mail described this book as, 'A reference bible...inspirational in the way that it opens up new possibilities for vegetables.'

It is the definitive guide to the selection, preparation and cooking of vegetables - from the common potato to the exotic Chinese artichoke. Jane gives tempting, stimulating ideas for side dishes, main courses and even the odd dessert. This marvellous book has become a classic work of reference for good cooks everywhere.

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Kitchen Talk

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