Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Ratatouille

I used the recipe in A Vegan Taste of France by Linda Majzlik but the recipe is pretty much the same in Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking and any recipe you find online...and this French classic was always vegan :)


Ratatouille
Serves 8

Ingredients

1lb eggplant, sliced in thin rounds (3/8 Inch thick)
1lb zucchini, scrubbed and sliced thinly (3/8 inch think)
1tsp salt
6 Tbls olive oil, dived into 4 and 2
1/1lb thinly sliced yellow onions (I used red)
2 green peppers/capsicum (I used red)
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1lb tomatoes, peeled seeded, juiced (reserved) and sliced (I skipped this step and just chopped)
3 Tbls chopped parsley
2 Tbls chopped basil (not used in Julia Child's recipe)
2 bay leaves


Method

Place eggplant and zucchini in a bowl and toss salt, let stand for 30 mins and then drain and dry each slice with a tea towel. I often completely skip this step with eggplants but it's up to  you, I'm lazy :)
Add 4 Tbls olive oil to a large skillet and  on a medium heat layer the zucchini and eggplant rounds and cook for a minute on each side. And repeat until all have been done and set aside.
In the same skillet  add remaining 2 Tbls olive oil and sauté onions and green peppers for 10 mins on a low heat do that they are soft, not brown.
Stir in garlic, salt and pepper to taste.
Add in sliced tomato , season with salt and pepper.
Cover the skillet and cook for another 5 mins on low.
Uncover and being to boil until liquid is evaporated.
At this point I just add back the zucchini and eggplant and add the bay leave, simmer for another 10mins, covered then 15 mins uncovered (or until all vegetables are soft) and then mix through basil and parsley before serving.
If you want the proper French  Julia Child version read on...
Place 1/3 of tomato mixture in a casserole dish covering the bottom around 2".
Sprinkle  1tbls  parsley over tomatoes.
Arrange half the eggplant and zucchini on top.
Add remain half if tomato mixture and parsley.
Add remaining half of  zucchini  and eggplant on top.
Cover and simmer on a low hear for 10mins.
Uncover and pour over rendered tomato juice.
Add more salt and pepper as needed.
Raise the hear to low-medium and cook uncovered for 15 minutes  adding more tomato juice as it evaporates. You want to avoid burning the vegetables on the bottom.
Serve as a side or a main with rice.

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