Rainbow Ratatouille

15.06.2012

Flavours of summer, colours of the rainbow and bouquets of the Mediterranean, my oven-baked ratatouille is fresh, simple and delicious. Make a big batch, it will last you for a few days in the fridge and can be served on its own with crusty bread, with pasta or rice, or even as an excellent pizza topping.

Serves 4 - 6

Ingredients:

4 medium aubergines 3 peppers (1 red, 1 yellow, 1 green, preferably) 5 courgettes 3 medium white onion 4 cloves garlic 1 bay leaf 2 teaspoons mixed dried herbs (Herbes de Provence are perfect) Salt & pepper 5 tablespoons olive oil 500ml tomato passata (you can use tinned chopped tomatoes and whiz them up in the liquidizer) A splosh of red wine (or balsamic vinegar) 1 teaspoon sugar Fresh basil leaves to serve

Method: Heat the oven to 200°C. Chop the aubergines, peppers, courgettes and onions into big chunks (about 1 inch). Place in a large baking dish and mix around with your hands. Crush the garlic and add to the mixture with the bay leaf, dried herbs, salt & pepper, and 4 tablespoons of olive oil (the aubergines absorb a lot). Mix thoroughly with your hands and place in the heated oven. Bake for 45 minutes but check every 15 minutes and stir the vegetable round to get them evenly roasted. When the vegetables begin to soften take the dish out of the oven. Pour the tomato passata and red wine over the vegetables then sprinkle the sugar over the top. Stir and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes. Check the seasoning when you remove from the oven then leave to stand for 15 minutes before sprinkling with some fresh basil leaves and serving with a fresh piece of crusty bread.

Kids: This will definitely ensure that you really enjoy the delicious flavours of the vegetables used in this dish. How many colours from the rainbow can you actually spot? Help to prepare by chopping some of the vegetables and make sure you get your (clean) hands involved in mixing all the ingredients together before the ratatouille goes into the oven.

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