I have tried many recipes for ratatouille, this is the best. I think I got it off the internet, with a promise that this was the most authentic.
- 1 aubergine, diced
- 4 courgettes, halved and sliced
- 300g french beans, cut to 1 inch lengths
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 cans of chopped tomatoes
- 3/4 cup of chopped fennel leaves
- fresh basil leaves, torn
- Pinch of sugar
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Salt the diced aubergines and courgettes and set aside. Rinse the salt off after 20 minutes (I do this in a colander)
- Heat the oil in a large pan, and gently fry the onion and garlic until soft.
- Add the aubergines and courgettes, and cook for another five minutes or so.
- Add the remaining ingredients and simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes, and then with the lid off for 20 minutes. Keep a close eye and stir occasionally, to stop the mixture sticking to the bottom of the pan.
This freezes OK, but it is best reheated the day after making it.
I have been thinking about how I buy vegetables. I prioritise local and homegrown, but at this time of year, I buy a lot from the local shops, trying to stick to Scottish produce wherever I can.
I also like to buy the reduced vegetables, to avoid the shops having to throw these away, reducing food waste. So, here comes the first of a series of recipes inspired by ingredients rescued from the reduced section.
- 2 packs of fresh green beans
- 1 red onion, halved and sliced thinly
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- salt and pepper
- Trim the beans and chop into 2 cm lengths
- Heat the oil in a saucepan, and when it is hot, fry the garlic for 30 seconds.
- Add the thinly sliced onion, and lower the heat a bit, cooking the onion until it is wilting. Do not let the onion start to turn brown. This should take around three minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, beans, salt and pepper, and a cup of boiling water.
- Bring the mixture to the boil, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
- At the end, take off the lid and boil off any liquid, so that a thick tomato sauce coats the beans. Check the seasoning.
I served this with couscous, but rice would also be a really good option.
I have three recipes for green beans with coconut. This is a very easy version.
- 1 lb green beans in 1 inch lengths
- 2oz grated coconut
- 4 tbsp chopped coriander leaf
- 1 pinch asafoetida
- 1 chopped green chilli
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Combine the coconut, coriander, asafoetida, green chilli and salt in a dish.
- Blanch the beans in boiling water for 3 minutes
- In the oil, fry the sesame and mustard seeds together with the cayenne pepper – after about a minute, the seeds will pop, so take them off the heat at that point.
- Add the beans to the mixture, and cook on a low heat until they are tender
- Add the coconut mixture, and serve
This is a recipe from the Philippines. It is great with rice.
- 700g fresh green beans
- 2 onions
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 can of organic chopped tomatoes
- 4tbsp organic vegetable oil
- 1 tsp salt
- Black pepper to taste
- Trim the beans and cut into 3cm lengths. Cut the onions in half and slice crosswise to fine slices, and chop the garlic very fine.
- Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat and fry the garlic for a few seconds, before adding the onion slices. Stir and fry for another 3 minutes or so, until the onions begin to turn translucent.
- Add the tomatoes, beans, salt and pepper and 100ml water
- Bring to the boil, cover, and then simmer for around 15 minutes until the beans are cooked.
- Remove the lid, turn up the heat and reduce the sauce until it is quite thick. Stir while you are doing this to stop it from sticking.