Ratatouille is nothing special, I thought. But I have changed my mind now. Everybody knows it and every body who cooks has surely made atleast once in their lifetime here in Germany. I always enjoyed ratatouille, but never to the extend like this time. It never turned out so good, not even somewhere near it.
The inspiration for this recipe comes from a beautiful website of Meeta. I have made ratatouille endless number of times. Many a times it also turned out good , but one problem which I often had was everything, especially Zucchini getting too mushy and everything too watery and it just did not look so inviting to the eyes. The recipes were from different books. But this recipe from her blog, just bowled me over. You can see the amount of efforts she has put into the making and then the artistic photography, which, in my opinion, is very professionally done. The important part for me in the recipe was the method of cooking for the ratatouille, which is not entirely new to me, but I always restricted myself from using this style of cooking as it demads more oil. But, the moment the first spoon is in your mouth, you forget everything and just get lost in its melody playing in your mouth. Yes, it was THAT good!
I prepared this together with my 3 year old son. He helped me cut the carrots with a cutlery knife, but then already had aching hands -the carrots were quite thick and therefore hard to cut :)
So, here it goes:
1 zucchini, diced
1 medium aubergine, diced
2 carrots, diced (of which one third were eaten away by me and my son! :D They were so very sweet)
1 large yellow bell pepper, diced
2 small onion, chopped
2 large tomatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or crushed with a garlic press
3-4 sprigs thyme, finely chopped
2-3 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
a bunch of basil leaves, chopped
black pepper ( I used red chilli powder instead)
flat parsely, chopped fine
- In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil and sauté the garlic, onion and yellow bell peppers on high heat. Sprinkle salt and pepper (or chilli) to taste. Set aside, when still crispy.
- In the same pan, sauté diced zucchini in olive oil on medium heat, sprinkle with salt and pepper and set side when still crispy and have a nice golden brown colour.
- Heat some more olive oil in the pan and sauté carrots and aubergines on high heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. At the end cover with lid, add water if required, and cook on medium flame till done. Stir in between. Set aside.
- Add tomatoes to the pan and sauté on medium or high heat till they become tender, but do not loose shape entirely (For this preparation I preferred it this way. But, cook as long as you wish, if you prefer them to be rather soft). Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Put the cooked vegtables back into the pan, which were set aside, and stir once. Cook for a further few minutes.
- Serve garnished with basil and parsely.
I had no parsely, but it just turned out superb! We ate it with rice and Pollock fish (with an MSC stamp!).