Family friendly ratatouille
Ratatouille makes me think of my mum, and to be honest I’m not even sure why. I don’t think she made it much, as she isn’t a fan of tomatoes, but somehow thoughts of her are wrapped up in this dish.
It’s strange how evocative food can be, how a taste can transport you. Pistachio icecream takes me to France. To waiting in the supermarket laundrette for another load to be done. The laundrettes were always glass boxes, heated by the summer sun & the driers on full pelt. Pre smart phone days, there were few entertainment options whilst you waited for the weekly wash other than a game of uno & a tub of icecream.
Cinnamon and cardamom will always take me straight to Oslo. To bakeries & snowy days. To Sunday afternoons when we would “go for a run out” in the car, a flask of coffee and some buns packed to keep us going (probably alongside the snow shovel & the thermal blankets…just in case).
To be honest I’m not sure where ratatouille fits in. Maybe it makes me think of France, maybe it’s because the smell of freshly picked tomatoes is one of my absolute favourite smells. Maybe we did eat it a lot growing up but I have forgotten. Either way, this was the perfect meal to share with the baby today as we woke up to the arrival of autumn here in Munich. It is seriously chilly. Nippy hands, rosy cheeks, thick jumper chilly. Ratatouille is warming, comfort food. Perfect as the evenings get longer, and perfect for the end of season tomatoes.
This recipe is a simple one. The best usually are. Serve with doorsteps of crusty bread or another grain. Puree or mash if needed for the little ones. Dish up, snuggle up and enjoy.
Ingredients (serves 4)
6 large ripe tomatoes chopped
1 large courgette cubed
1 aubergine cubed
1 red pepper cubed
2 tsp herbs de Provence
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
Finely chop the shallot and add to a large pan with the oil and herbs
Gently soften and then add in the aubergine
Cook the aubergine for 4 mins and then add in all the other vegetables
Stir well and cook on a medium heat until the tomatoes begin to break down
Turn down the heat, cover and allow to cook on a low heat for 25-35 minutes until all the vegetables are soft and well cooked
Serve and enjoy
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