Monday, August 3, 2009

Ratatouille - French zucchini and tomato stew

Excuses, excuses. Plenty of those. I do apologise for my absence the last month. I will not bore you with the reasons, but instead treat you to a new recipe. A very summery dish this is, and while eating you will think you are somewhere in France. I do anyway.
You can eat ratatouille, of course, the day you make it. I usually eat it with some wild rice.
But make sure to make some extra ratatouille and eat that the next day. Preferably lukewarm on a piece of French bread (baguette). Let it stand for 10 minutes and enjoy. I read this tip on another blog somewhere and I can really recommend it.
By the way: buy your zucchini on the small side. They usually have more flavour than the larger ones.
The recipe for this ratatouille is without aubergine. My man doesn't like it, and I'm not too fond of it either, so I skip it even though it's quite a traditional ingredient for a ratatouille. If you do like to put in some, well, then be my guest.

Ratatouille (serves 4, or two times two)

olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
2 carrots, chopped or finely sliced
3-4 zucchini (NL: courgette), halved and cut in 1-cm slices
10 tomatoes, coarsely chopped or 2 cans of tomatoes
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 glass of white wine
2 bay leaves (NL: laurier, S: lagerblad)
1 teaspoon of dried French herbs
salt and pepper

* heat the oil and add the onion, garlic, celery and carrots
* let this soften up for 10 minutes - it should not get brown, just soft
* add the zucchini and fry for 2 minutes
* add the tomatoes and sugar and turn the heat up
* break the tomatoes by cooking them on a high heat while stirring often
* after 5 minutes you can lower the heat and add the wine, bay leaves and herbs
* leave to simmer for 30 minutes or longer, with the lid of the pan halfway

Another serving alternative: add some fried sausages, cut in slices and boiled potatoes to turn it into a more meaty and hearty stew (S: Fransk korvgryta).

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