Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mixed vege

Armed with more courgettes from Lauren and Tom's garden, I went to my Emdonds book for a recipe. The one I ended up choosing was ratatouille (p162), a dish consisting of eggplant, courgette, green pepper, onion and garlic in a tomato sauce.

The first thing to do was blanch, skin and chop the tomatoes. Remembering this time to dunk the tomatoes in cold water directly after the hot water made a considerable difference, and the skins came off quite easily (If you don't fancy blanching tomatoes, you could easily use canned ones instead). I chopped up the tomatoes and put them into a small pot with some olive oil, salt, pepper and sugar.

While the tomatoes were cooking into a pulpy sauce, I prepared the other veges, first cooking some onion and garlic, then adding sliced courgette and pepper, along with chopped eggplant. Then I put a lid on the frypan and turned down the heat.

By the time the vegetables had softened up, the tomato sauce was ready. I stirred the sauce through the veges, added a little extra seasoning, and my ratatouille was ready. It's really a side dish, but I couldn't be bothered cooking anything else, so I just had a decent serving of ratatouille.

It tastes like what it is, really: a mixture of vegetables in a tomato sauce. The courgettes were a bit soggy for my taste, but the eggplant still had enough firmness to give the dish a little texture. The truth is, I don't really know what the texture of cooked eggplant should be like, so it's possible that I undercooked it. Anyway, it's a perfectly good vegetable dish, but it would be better on the side of a main. It's a bit bland all on its own!

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