RATATOUILLE WITH PUMPKIN AND EGGPLANTS

This Ratatouille recipe is from the great Ottolenghi and while it takes quite a bit of preparation, it’s well worth it. I stayed close to the original recipe, but exchanged the potatoe for a sweet potato. Which I wouldn’t do again – the sweet potato tastes too much like the pumpkin. So stay with normal potatoes.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 110ml sunflower oil (I used much less)
  • 2 small onions, cut into 3cm dice
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • ½ fresh green chilli, thinly sliced
  • 2 small red peppers, cut into 3cm dice
  • ½ small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3cm dice
  • 1 small parsnip, peeled and cut into 3cm dice
  • 200g French beans, trimmed
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 3cm dice
  • ½ large eggplant, peeled and cut into 3cm dice
  • 1 small potato, peeled and cut into 3cm dice
  • 2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • ½ tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 200ml water
  • chopped coriander to garnish (optional)
  • salt and black pepper

Preparation

Pour some olive oil into a large heavy casserole or pot and place on medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, chili and red peppers and cook for another few minutes. Add butternut squash and parsnip and continue sautéing for 5 additional minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, lift the vegetables out of pot into a medium bowl. Add a little bit of olive oil. Add green beans, zucchini and eggplant; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Preheat oven to 200° Celsius (=400° F).

Return contents of bowl to pot. Add potato, tomatoes, tomato paste and plenty of salt and pepper. Stir well, then pour in the 200ml water, or just enough water to cover the bottom half of the vegetables. Cover with lid and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.

Gently lift vegetables from the pot into a large, deep roasting pan and spread them out. Pour the cooking liquid over the vegetables and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. At this point all the vegetables should be very soft and most of the liquid evaporated. Garnish the ratatouille with lots of chopped cilantro and serve with rice or on it’s own.