Here, as promised, is the recipe for my roasted vegetable ratatouille. As with everything I make it started out as a way to use up left over veg that was starting to look a bit sad. It’s also great for taking advantage of any veg that’s on special offer or cheap in season. You can use quite a variety of veg depending on what you like and what you’ve got in. At the moment aubergines are very cheap, 50p each for a huge one in Tesco, so I’m buying them weekly.
Here’s what I used yesterday and this served two of us amply with a tiny bit left over which is in the photo above.
1 medium/large red or white onion
1 medium sized sweet potato
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed with the back of a knife
1 400g can of whole or chunky chopped plum tomatoes. Aldi sell the chunky chopped variety which are lovely quality, they also sell them with herbs already added which you could also use. If you use whole ones then just break them up a bit with a fork as you add them. Same difference really.
all purpose seasoning if you have any [see below**]
two shakes of tabasco [I use a lot of tabasco 😉 ]
generous slug of extra virgin olive oil. I buy mine in Aldi, cheap and very nice flavour.
I have also used parsnips, courgettes, fresh tomatoes, peppers and new potatoes in the past. I’ve tried open cup mushrooms but not a great result, I think button mushrooms would have been better.
Preheat oven to 190C. Wash all the veg and chop it into decent bite-sized chunks, not so big that they take ages to cook but not so small that they melt away in the cooking process. I cut the onion smaller as I’m not keen on great big bits of onion and it caramalises better if cut smaller. Place everything, apart from the tin of tomatoes, in a large roasting dish. I use the one I do my roast spuds in. You don’t want the veg too deep, a single layer is best so it cooks quickly but I do pack it in, there’s not a spare inch of tin showing.
Place a good glug of olive oil over the veg, enough to coat it all but not so much that it’s swimming [get your hands in at this point and give it a good mix]. Give the veg a good shake and add your dry seasonings but not the tabasco yet. Stir to get the seasoning on all the veg and add a bit more seasoning if necessary.
Place dish in the middle of the oven for about 30 – 45 minutes stirring once halfway through until veg is starting to brown and cook down. At this point open your tomatoes, add the tabasco to them and stir in a bit. Pour the tomatoes over the veg and combine well. Put back in the oven for a further 15 – 20 minutes. That’s it!! Enjoy because it’s absolutely delicious. We eat this on top of jacket potatoes, with roast chicken, fish/fish cakes or mixed through pasta.
You can also add a broken up mozzarella ball 5 minutes before the end if you want to. It creates a lovely stringy, cheesy texture and suddenly it’s a bit like an aubergine parmigiana.
**A quick note about All Purpose Seasoning in case you’re wondering what I’m on about 😉 . I bought this in the world foods aisle in Tesco and use it for lots of dishes from potato wedges [white or sweet] to roast vegetables and soups. I also sprinkle it on my roast chickens before they go in the oven. It’s main ingredients are: paprika, coriander, mustard, chilli, garlic, onion and celery salt. It’s one of those things that I bought on a whim and it’s turned out to be really useful for all sorts of things. There are other varieties: chicken, fish, tropical, caribbean and barbecue being some of them. I chose ‘All Purpose’ because it contained a lot of the spices I use anyway but in one tub. Again, very cheap too.