Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The French aren't all that Bad

Ratatouille Niçoise

The holy grail of recipes for me is one that is guiltless, fun to make and shaky-hand craving inducing. This is one of very few that fits the bill. I did.. Um.. Guilt it up a little though.

I was a teeny bit weary of eating a dish made entirely out of vegetables (vegetables eeeeuw!), so I thought I might make it a bit easier to handle with a bit of Mornay (cheese) sauce and a Ciabatta roll.

So, yes, I added the slutty creamy cheese sauce to the somewhat formal healthy French vegetables. And you know what? They made a gorgeous couple. A whole lot of common sense with a little bit of fun :-).

In fact, I would even leave the roll behind and just have the gooey comforting yet nutritious mixture wrapped in a blanket while watching a movie.

Ratatouille Niçoise
From Larousse Gastronomique

6 aubergines
6 tomatoes
3 green peppers
2 onions
10 baby marrows
 3 garlic cloves

1) Firstly, prepare the veggies. This is the longest part:
  • Peel the aubergines, and cut them into rounds.
  • Peel the tomatoes (awful- I know, but you'll get through it!), cut each into 6 pieces and remove the seeds.
  • Remove the stalks and seeds from the green peppers and cut into strips.
  • Peel and chop the onions.
  • Slice the baby marrows into rounds.
  • Peel and crush the garlic cloves.
2) Now, heat up 6 tablespoons of olive oil in a LARGE pan (I had to use a pot- my pans were too small) . Add the aubergine, a bit at a time, until it's all browned. Add salt and pepper generously.
3) Add tomatoes, green peppers and onions, and cook for 5 minutes or so. Season a bit more with salt and pepper.
4) Add the baby marrow and garlic.
5) Cook for about 30-40 minutes
6) Season to taste and serve hot.
7) I found the dish tasted even better the next day!

I feel so bum-shakingly proud now that I have made a proper fancy named French recipe- no tears, ducks, or murder!

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