I can't stop raving about this ratatouille. You can do so many things with it. It's probably my go to dinner when I can't decide what to make for dinner. I've made it so many times now and keep coming up with new ways to use up the leftovers.
I'm sure there are many versions of ratatouille. This one is almost like a stew. The vegetables get cooked down in it's own juices with tomatoes until it's nice and thick. I like to add a few anchovies to bump up the flavour and fold in roasted garlic cloves at the end. I started adding the roasted garlic when I had ratatouille at a comfort food restaurant in Vancouver called Burgoo. They do a stewy version as well and serve it with crumbled goat cheese and toasted bread crumbs on top.
Let me give you a few ideas you can do with this. The stew is great on its own, garnished simply with shaved parmesan and a few threads of olive oil. It pairs really well with roast lamb, fish, and chicken. The leftovers are great with some cooked pasta stirred in. (Think a rustic rigatoni or penne). On many occassions I've had it for breakfast over a thick slice of crusty sourdough with a poached egg on top. Just last night coming home at midnight from work I had it as my "ketchup" with a grilled ham and cheese sandwich.
Oh ratatouille. How I love thee.
Makes one big pot
Makes one big pot
Don't be alarmed at the amount of garlic. Slow roasting it in the oven mellows out the burn and gives the ratatouille a gentle garlic flavour. Don't skimp on the cooking time either. The vegetables release a lot of liquid and need time to cook down.
1/4 cup olive oil
3 bay leaves
few sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
5 anchovies, packed in oil
2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
2 medium onions
2 large red bell pepper
1 medium Italian eggplant
3 baby zuchinni
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
small handful of capers, rinsed and drained
1- 800 gr can of chopped tomatoes
salt and pepper
1/2 bunch flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
3 heads of garlic
Preheat the oven to 350'F. Cut the tops off the garlic just enough to expose the cloves. Wrap them in tin foil and roast until the garlic is soft. About 30- 40 minutes.
Prepare your vegetables. Cut everything into roughly 1" chunks.
In a large pot over medium heat, saute the onions in the olive oil until translucent. Add the bay leaves, thyme, anchovies, fennel seeds, and chilli flakes. Saute for 5 minutes.
Toss in the bell pepper, eggplant, zuchinni, olives, and capers. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
Simmer until the liquid has evaporated and the ratatouille is nice and thick. This will take about 45 minutes to an hour.
When the garlic is cool enough to handle, pull the cloves out with a fork, keeping them as whole as possible. Stir the garlic cloves and parsley into the ratatouille and taste again for seasoning.