What would vege week be if I didn’t make that well-beloved vege stew? One of my favourite vege is aubergine…..big, fat, round aubergines. Prep correctly, the aubergine tastes good in anything. I have even seen Jamie Oliver (below) make an aubergine chocolate dessert (not sure if I find that appetising but it was drowning in chocolate so not sure if you’ll taste the aubergine anymore)
The point is, I love aubergines for its capacity to make a dish filling and tasty because it carries different sorts of flavours so well. Aubergines and courgettes, to me, are like a marriage made in heaven.
Spoilers Ahead; If you’ve watched the animated movie Ratatouille (below)…and no it’s not the name of the rat, the rat’s name is Remy…you’ll find that Ratatouille was stemmed from humble beginnings but has the capacity to entice even the highest self-proclaimed gourmets. Although personally, I don’t know what Ratatouille has to do with the whole storyline seeing it only plays a minor part in the plot, I’ll admit it inspired me to cook this dish.
A clip of the movie;
The final dish in the movie;
Or course, my ratatouille looks nothing like the final outcome of above. I have read about ratatouilles in recipe books before but I thought the pictures always made it looked like some hodge podge mess of vege muck. Of course now I know better, and know enough to own your own recipe rather than follow squarely what the recipe book says.
I made this immediately after I got back from my Cameron trip. I had a hoard of fresh vegetables and there’s no better compliment to ratatouille than to make it with fresh vegetables. Actually that principal applies to any dish. Anyways…. ratatouille can be dry or gravy-filled, depending on your preference but as I’ve mentioned before, hubster likes dishes with gravy so I added some of my homemade marinara sauce. You can totally leave this out and cook the tomatoes down to a mush and it will taste just as good.
I think the photos made it look like it’s some sort of vegetable curry…but that’s not necessarily a bad thing either. The good thing about this dish is the portion. There is enough to feed a family for two meals and I still had leftovers. I gave it away to a friend who finished it with bread. I’ve never tried that before, maybe next time I will.
1 fairly large aubergine, sliced into rounds
1 large yellow courgette, sliced into rounds
2 green pepper, de-seeded and sliced into strips
3 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
1 large onion, cut into wedges
3 cloves garlic, sliced or chopped
Marinara sauce (optional)
Chilli flakes (optional)
1. Prep the aubergine, layer the sliced rounds all around a colander. The colander has to be in a large bowl. Salt them as you go. This is to draw out the excess moisture that sometimes can be bitter.
2. Put a plate on top of the aubergines and a weight (like a can) on top of the plate. Leave it for 30 mins. After 30 mins or so, you will see water at the bottom of the bowl.
3. Use kitchen towels to pat dry the sliced aubergines. From here, you can either slice it into semicircles or leave it as it is. I sliced them smaller. Heat a shallow frying pan with oil.
4. Shallow fry the aubergines and courgettes in batches. Drain.
5. Heat a larger wok or frying pan with oil and add your onions and garlic. Sautee for few mins before adding peppers and tomatoes.
6. After a few mins, bring your aubergine and courgette back to the pan. Season with salt, black pepper, oregano and chilli flakes. Cook till the tomatoes are somewhat soft but still has a bite to it.
7. At this point, add some water for moisture, if using marinara sauce, pour in about a cup.
8. Let the ratatouille simmer for 10 mins, taste and adjust seasoning.
9. Eat by itself or with pasta or bread.
On a side note, the Aspiring Bakers #15 has ended and check out the roundup picture (below)!! Looks awesome. All that yummy dishes….be still my heart;
See all the pictures in full from Wen’s Delight, try and see if you can spot two from Feats of Feasts!