This lovely, colourful dish can also be served as a first course, or as a main course dish with baked potatoes.
serves 4 - 6
60 ml (4 tbsp) olive oil
3 medium onions, peeled and sliced
2 medium aubergines
salt and freshly ground pepper
450 g (1 lb) courgettes, trimmed and sliced
1 large red pepper, cored, seeded and sliced
1 large green pepper, cored, seeded and sliced
1 large yellow pepper, cored, seeded and sliced
3 cloves garlic, crushed
450 g (1 lb) ripe tomatoes, quartered
5 g (1 tsp) thyme
ground coriander to taste
200 g (8 oz) Cheddar cheese, grated
30 g (2 tbsp) breadcrumbs
30 g (2 tbsp) grated Parmesan cheese
1. Heat the oil in a large, deep, heavy pan. Add the onions, and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
2. While the onions are cooking, slice the aubergines. Sprinkle with a little salt, mix well, and place in a colander to drain for 5 minutes.
3. Rinse well and pat dry with paper towels.
4. Add the sliced vegetables, garlic and quartered tomatoes to the pan with the onion.
5. Stir well over high heat for a minute then stir in salt, pepper, thyme and ground coriander to taste.
6. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium high heat for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender.
7. If there is too much liquid, turn up the heat, and boil rapidly till reduced — the ratatouille should be fairly dry.
8. Taste the ratatouille, it should be well-seasoned.
9. Heat the grill. Stir half the Cheddar cheese into the vegetable mixture, and transfer to a greased ovenproof baking dish.
10. Mix the ingredients for the topping together with the remaining Cheddar cheese and sprinkle over the ratatouille.
11. Grill until golden brown and bubbling.
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