Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Ratatouille , a Summer creation

Ready to start

A taste of the Mediterranean on your table
Ratatouille is my very favourite Summer vegetable dish. In Italy peperonata and caponata more traditional and equally delicious . Ratatouille to me though is like a work of art, like painting a picture . Wherever I make this dish I am back in the South of France, breathing in the scents of Mediterranean pine and lavender. There is something about the light there as Van Gogh said and you wonder how different his life might have turned out if  his friend Gauguin had agreed to set up a studio there with him. Back to the Ratatouille , the enjoyment starts in the market place, choosing the lovely bright vegetables embued with Mediterranean sunshine. Beautiful plump purple aubergines, sunshine yellow  and crimson peppers, bright red tomatoes and pine green courgettes. I take them home and wash and dry them all carefully. Then I get creative with cutting them into shapes. Today I finely chopped an onion, cut the peppers into strips, the aubergines into cubes, the courgettes into rounds, the tomatoes into half moons. Next layer the vegetables in a large saucepan. First the onion and some oil , then the peppers, aubergines, courgettes and tomatoes. Now sprinkle with salt and add more olive oil. If liked you can add fresh basil leaves. Put the lid on and let it all simmer very gently for about 40 minutes, checking it doesn't stick to the bottom. When ithe vegetables are soft but stlll retain their bright colours stir it all together carefully . This goes well with couscous or meat .
You are now ready to be transported to the South of France , have a glass of Rose wine and think of the beautiful light there.
You could also have a laugh thinking of Fawlty Towers and Basil in the Ratatouille..

No comments:

Post a Comment