Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Here is another one of my trademark one-pot stews! I call this one "repro ratatouille", as it based on the classic herby vegetable casserole from the South of France, but here it is reproduced by me with some changes. I had some courgettes, tomatoes and a pepper I wanted to use up, so decided to make this with them. Traditional ratatouille also contains aubergine (eggplant), which I didn't have, so instead I substituted chestnut mushrooms, which worked really well, and also a handful of sweetcorn (just bought a large frozen bag of it!) I was very pleased with the result: it is just as tasty as normal ratatouille, and I find that the mushrooms give it a satisfyingly "meaty" texture (similar to aubergine in that respect). Ratatouille is also traditionally flavoured with basil, so I put a lot of that in, fresh from my plant, and also some dried oregano and marjoram.
I believe that this is usually eaten as a summer dish, as most of the vegetables are in season then in Europe, but I find it is also very warming and satisfying as a winter supper. It's also nice and colourful, which helps to cheer you up at this time of year!
Preparation and cooking time: about 45 minutes
Ingredients (Serves 2)
- 1large-ish onion, diced
- 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 300 g tin of tomatoes (or 2-3 large tomatoes, chopped)
- Around ½ small courgette (zucchini), chopped into discs
- ½ of a yellow bell pepper, diced or sliced into slivers (you can also use a red or a green pepper, but I used yellow, for some extra colour contrast)
- 1 tbsp. sweet corn (from a tin or frozen)
- 3-4 large chestnut mushrooms, thinly sliced
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- Optional pinch of cayenne pepper
- ½ tsp. of dried oregano (or 1 tsp. of fresh)
- ½ tsp. of dried marjoram (or 1 tsp. fresh)
- 1 good handful of chopped or torn fresh basil (or 1-2 tsp. of dried)
1) Heat oil in a large sauté pan on a medium-high burner. Add onions until soft and transparent, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
2)Add garlic, and cook for 1-2 minutes.
3)Add the mushrooms and cook until lightly browned, 1-2 minutes.
4) Then add the dried herbs, courgette, pepper and sweetcorn, again fry for 1-2 minutes, and add salt and pepper.
5) Lastly, add the tomatoes and the fresh basil, turn down the heat, cover andcook for around 30 minutes until the veg are all tender. You may need to add some water, if it appears a little dry, so check it periodically.
6) Check the seasoning, add more salt and pepper if required.
7) Serve in a bowl with crusty bread. Yum!!
Enjoy,let me know what you think! Your votes and comments are much appreciated.
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.