Chef's Recipe: Ratatouille Nicoise

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This time of year is when many vegetables are harvested at their best having benefited from the summer warmth. Our barge chefs like to buy them some of this fresh produce at local markets, or even from canal lock-keepers on the cruise route who have grown them in their waterside gardens, to prepare tasty dishes to accompany their fish and meat main courses.

One of these dishes is Ratatouille Nicoise, a popular dish with the French. Here is the recipe and we hope you will give it a try.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tblsp of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 large green pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2lb of tomatoes
  • 1 aubergine (eggplant), peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 2 courgettes (zucchini), quartered and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 tsp of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 12 pitted black olives, halved
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and the onion and green pepper. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes until just softened but not brown.
  2. Increase the heat slightly and stir in the garlic and tomatoes. Cook for another 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the diced aubergine, courgette, thyme and bay leaf and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Stir in the olives and cook covered for about 10 minutes. Avoid overcooking so that the vegetables don’t disintegrate.

Serve hot or cold

Serves 6

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