2 peppers, green, yellow or red
4 large courgettes
6 large juicy tomatoes
¼ cup olive oil
2 large onions, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed, peeled and chopped
½ cup tomato puree
1. Cut the calyx off the end of the aubergine and then slice the aubergine into 1cm-thick slices. Sprinkle over the salt and leave in a colander for about 20 minutes. Rinse well in cold water and dry on absorbent paper.
2. Cut the aubergine slices in half and place them flat on a foil-lined tray.
3. Cut the peppers in half and remove the seeds. Place them cut side down on the tray. Trim the ends from the courgettes and cut them in half lengthwise. Arrange them cut side up on the tray. Slice the tomatoes in half and place on the tray, cut side up. Brush all the vegetables liberally with most of the olive oil.
4. Grill the vegetables under a high heat for about 8-10 minutes until they have all browned. Turn and grill the other sides until a deep brown colour.
5. Heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan and add the onions. Cook over a moderately high heat, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes until the onions have softened and slightly browned. Add the garlic and cook a further 2 minutes.
6. Chop the vegetables roughly, basically into bite-sized pieces. Add to the saucepan with the tomato puree and lower the heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the ratatouille has softened.
7. If the mixture is too liquid for your liking, then increase the heat for about 5 minutes to drive off the excess water. Season well with salt and pepper and stir in the oregano just before serving hot. If you plan to have this cold, then stir in the oregano just before serving chilled.
This dish comes from the Mediterranean, in particular from Provence, where the essential ingredients are found in abundance. Ratatouille can be served hot or cold as an accompaniment to meats or on an antipasto platter. Here, I have roasted the vegetables to add extra flavour.