The word ratatouille comes from touiller, which means ‘to stir round or mix’, and the recipe originates from Nice in the South of France. “For me, this dish not only represents but also encompasses the splendour of the South: full of sunshine, colour and the scent of the Mediterranean,” says Michelin-starred chef Daniel Galmiche.
Chef’s Tip: A lovely way to use up any leftover ratatouille is to mix it with rice and then stuff tomatoes, which you have deseeded, and bake them in the oven at 180°C/350°F/gas 4 for 25–30 minutes. Or for a quick snack, top pieces of toasted baguette or a rustic loaf, such as pain de campagne, with cold ratatouille. Delicious.
Vegetarian Ratatouille Provençale
Preparation: 20 minutes, plus cooking the rice and pasta
Cooking time: 2 hours 10 minutes
100ml/3½fl oz/scant ½ cup olive oil
1 aubergine, peeled and cut into large cubes
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
1 green pepper, deseeded and sliced
1 large courgette or 2 small courgettes, cubed
400g/14oz tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and cut into large cubes
a pinch of caster sugar
1 bouquet garni made with 1 small handful of flat-leaf parsley sprigs and 1 sprig of thyme, tied together with kitchen string
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional)
a small handful of basil leaves, to serve
rice or pasta, to serve
1. In a large cast iron pan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the aubergine and cook for 4–5 minutes until softened but not coloured. Add the onion, garlic and peppers and cook for 2–3 minutes, stirring occasionally, then stir in the courgette, tomatoes and sugar. Add the bouquet garni and simmer gently, partially covered, over a low to medium heat, for 1½-2 hours, stirring occasionally. If, when you take the lid off the ratatouille, it is too wet due to condensation, continue cooking it gently with the lid off, until you get the texture and consistency you want.
2. When ready, check the seasoning and add some salt and pepper, if necessary. Sprinkle with basil and serve with rice or pasta.
In his book French Brasserie Cookbook, top chef Daniel Galmiche brings you a superb collection of 100 classic brasserie recipes with a modern Mediterranean twist. Daniel gives us irresistible recipes for starters, mains, side dishes and desserts – all based on the classic principles that characterise brasserie cooking: regional recipes, local ingredients and homely, comforting flavours.
‘Daniel Galmiche creates easy, modern food that is full of flavour and character’ – Heston Blumenthal
208 pages • Illustrated • £20 print, £7.99 eBook