I made this recipe as part of food in film series. It's inspired by the film you'd least expect, Ratatouille. Having made different versions of ratatouille in the past I have to admit I wasn't expecting much. Perhaps the previous recipes cut too many corners for what is a rather simple recipe and therein lies the problem. You do need to put the effort into this receipe in order to get something which may be so simple yet tasty. Whilst the most time cosuming part of the recipe is all of the slicing and chopping, it is rather therapeutic.
Hands-on Time 30 minutes
Cooking Time 85 minutes
1 Red pepper
1 Yellow pepper
3 Garlic cloves
60-80ml plus extra for cooking Olive oil
1x 400g tin of Tomatoes, chopped
4 Tomatoes, large
1/2 Bunch of basil
1/2 Bunch of parsley
12 Sprigs of thyme
Deep sided oven-proof dish, approx. 30cm wide
Peel and dice the onion. Deseed peppers and dice. Finely dice the garlic.
Place the frying pan over a medium heat and add a glug of oil. Add the onions, lower the heat to the medium low, and cook for 8 minutes, stirring regularly until soft.
Add the diced peppers, cook for 8 minutes, stirring regularly again.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute before adding the tinned tomatoes. Give the mixture a good stir and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from the heat and leave in the pan.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C(Fan)/350°F/Gas mark 4.
If the aubergine is quite wide halve it lengthways before slicing into discs/crescents about 5 millimetres thick.
Slice the courgettes into discs of the same thickness.
For the tomatoes I find you get a better slice using a serrated knife. Again slice into discs the same thickness as the aubergine and courgette.
Sprinkle fine salt over everything you have sliced.
Finely chop the basil, parsley, and leaves from the springs of thyme.
Add the chopped herbs to a bowl along with 60 millilitres of oil and stir using a spoon. Add more if need be, you’re looking for it to be wet but not the herbs floating in oil.
Cut a piece of baking parchment to fit the oven-proof dish but don’t line it, this is to act as a lid.
Spread the cooked tomato and pepper mixture over the bottom of the dish.
Stack the sliced aubergine, courgettes, and tomatoes on their sides around the bottom of the dish, alternating between aubergine and courgette, adding tomato slices occasionally.
Spoon half of the herby oil over the top of everything before placing the baking parchment on top.
Pop the dish into the oven on a middle shelf for 60 minutes.
After the time has passed remove the dish from the oven and leave to sit for at least 5 minutes, discarding the parchment.
When you’re ready to serve dizzle the remaining herby oil over the plated portions of ratatouille.