Ratatouille is a simple vegetable stew which originates from France. Ideal as a side dish or main course if you are having a meat free meal. Also one of many ideal heart healthy cooking recipes.
Authentic French ratatouille usually includes; zucchini or courgette, eggplant or aubergine.
I like to make ratatouille with any seasonal vegetables. It’s a great way to empty the vegetable drawer in your fridge!
Ratatouille Base Ingredients
Onions, garlic, fresh well ripened tomatoes or canned. As long as you start with those 3 ingredients, add any of your favourite vegetables. The secret is to cut all the vegetables the same size to ensure even cooking.
Tip on Cooking the Vegetables
After chopping the vegetables into similar sized chunks, first add the vegetables which take the longest to cook, then the quickest cooking last. The end result will be evenly cooked vegetables. No mushy veg here!
Simple Healthy Ratatouille Recipe
2-3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
1 large or 2 medium white onions
6 medium ripe tomatoes or
canned Italian tomatoes in their juice
1 red and 1 yellow pepper
2 medium courgettes – zucchini
10 french beans
4 medium white mushrooms
Spinach – 2 handfuls, rinsed well and drained
2-3 bay leaves
2-4 garlic cloves – depending on size and how much you like
½ pint of chicken or vegetable stock
1 glass of white wine – optional, I like the added flavour!!
Handful of chopped fresh Italian parsley garnish
Using a large pot, pour in the olive oil and heat slightly
Add crushed garlic and chopped onion, mix well. Put a lid on to sweat the ingredients for 5 minutes.
What is Sweating
Sweating vegetables means they cook in their on juice. This brings out all the flavours and makes for a very tasty meal
Add fresh chopped tomatoes, not canned at this point, mix well and comtinue to sweat. If using canned tomatoes, add after all vegetables are almost cooked.
Now add the rest of the chopped vegetables and sweat just until they are softened but still a little crunchy. Add a little stock or white wine if needed at this point. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
Add the rest of the stock and white wine. Simmer for a futher 10 minutes. You don't want the vegetables swimming in to much liquid it will diluted the intense flavours.
If you are using canned tomatoes, add them now.
Simmer for 10 minutes.
Drop in the chopped spinach.
Cook for 30 seconds.
Serve in warm dishes with...
Italian parsley garnish and....
Just a little freshly grated parmesan.