Ratatouille (Roasted)

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Tossed vegetables.

Basically, that’s what we’re talking about when we talk about Ratatouille.

There is no “right” or “wrong” way to make it other than to follow a basic set of premises. It should be made of fresh vegetables. Traditional ingredients should include tomatoes, garlic, onions, zucchini, eggplant, capsicum and a mix of green herbs. It should be low in fat, low in calories, high in nutrients and complex in flavours.

Whether you believe that the vegetables should be steamed and tossed in a salad ala Ratatouille Nicoise, stewed like the samfaina or fried like tombet … the versions are endless. Heck, I even made a stack version a while back.

To be quite honest, I often forget about making Ratatouille as a standalone dish. It isn’t until the end of the week when I have all of these wonderful produce in the fridge that I recall the need to make a vegetable dish.

This recipe makes a huge tray of ratatouille – enough for a good dozen people in fact. But the quantity allows for seperating into batches and freezing for instant meals or sides during the week when one doesn’t have time to cook complicated meals.

Ingredients

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 eggplant, roughly chopped
  • 3 capsicums, diced
  • 2 Corn Cobs
  • 2 brown onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 2 parsnips, chopped
  • 1 bunch silverbeet
  • 4 zucchini, finely chopped
  • 1kg tomatoes
    • blanched and skinned
    • cut in quarters – set aside the meat
    • sieve the pulp and mix juice with 500ml tomato juice
Directions
  • Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over low heat.
  • In batches, add the onions, eggplant, carrots, and parsnips. Slowly add one clove of garlic at a time.
  • Cut the corn kernels off the cob and mix into the vegetable mix
  • When uniformly heated through, remove from heat and add to a roasting pan.
  • Layer the silverbeet over the eggplant mix and then spread the chopped capsicum over the top.
  • Place in a pre-heated oven and roast for forty minutes at 180*C
  • Meanwhile, blanch and skin the tomatoes – removing the pulp and setting aside into a bowl – cut the meat into quarters.
  • stir fry the zucchini and thyme until coloured and set aside
  • Sieve the pulp to extract the tomato juice, and then mix with the additional tomato juice
  • Place the tomato juice in a pan and reduce (~0.5 hour)
  • Place the quartered tomato over the capsicum layer followed by the zucchini
  • Pour the tomato juice over the roasted vegetables and return to the oven for another 45 minutes at 180*C

I am thinking that next time I might like to add some chopped bocconcini over the top of the vegetables and return it to the oven for a further ten minutes.
I also thought it might be nice to chop some fresh basil, sprinkle it with lemon juice, salt and pepper and toss it through the vegetables to turn it into a fragrant warm ratatouille salad.
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