Recently my family and I made an arrangement. Each sibling decided on a day they’ll cook in the week. We’d have complete freedom on what we’d make – the only limit is our imagination (well, that and our little knowledge of cooking and inexperienced taste buds). Nonetheless, the results have been spectacular thus far.
It all started with my parents going overseas for 10 days – leaving us kids to fend for ourselves. It was an adjustment but through effective planning and team work we actually did a pretty great job at maintaining the fort.
My older brother and I roughly planned what we’d be eating each day and then bought the groceries in advance or when we needed them. Each sibling only needed to make dinner as breakfasts we declared self service and for lunch we ate leftovers.
What I discovered from this endeavor, was that we started to eat way more interesting and diverse meals. We tried out vegan to Mexican cuisine. All were surprisingly delicious and didn’t take too long to make.
This all lead to me figuring out how to make the perfect Ratatouille. I’ve made it before, but with my newly found knowledge I tweaked a great recipe which produced the best Ratatouille I’ve ever had.
The original recipe comes from Tasty.
- 2 large eggplants
- about 8 small zucchinis (I ensured that the amount of zucchini’s were equal to the eggplant)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion – finely diced
- 2 whole garlic cloves
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- salt – to taste
- pepper – to taste
- 2 x 400 ml cans of crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil – about 8-10 leaves
- This recipe make about 4 to 6 servings
- I served it with quinoa – which I steamed for 15 to 20 minutes. 1/2 cup makes for 4 people. 1/2 quinoa with 1 cup water.
- I used a large sauce pan (30cm/ 12inch) to make this recipe.
- Sauteing the whole garlic (along with the outer sleeve still intact) will allow the garlic to cook until sweet and fragrant. Once cooked and soft to touch you remove the outer sleeve and mash the garlic clove into the dish.
- Preheat the oven to 180’C (356 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Slice the eggplant and zucchini into evenly diced pieces (about the size of your thumb or a little bit bigger). If you want the dish to be presented nicely – slice thin rounds of each vegetable instead.
- Then, heat the olive oil in a large (oven-safe) sauce pan over medium-high heat.
- Turn the temperature to a medium low heat (just higher than the lowest setting) and saute the onion, whole garlic (with the outer sleeve still on), and bell peppers until the onions are translucent.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and stir until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the basil and stir it in. With the back of a spoon or spatula smooth the surface of the sauce.
- Add the vegetables on top and then mix some of them into the sauce ( but leaving the majority of the vegetables on the surface.
- Season again with salt and pepper.
- Cover the pan with its lid and then put in oven for 10 min or until the vegetables are soft.