La Ratatouille - quintessentially Provençal
Ratatouille is as Provençal as lavender and its blue sky above. It simply combines all the delicious vegetables which are ripe in the summer, allowing for the full flavor to develop by letting it simmer for almost two hours. Best served in the pot, along with some fresh country bread: in Provence bread is eaten along the main course and to soak up the sauce on the plate.
serves 4 - 6
Use a heavy cast-iron pot like Le Creusset, with fitting lid to trap the vapor during cooking
5 medium-sized carrots
1 red or yellow large onion
2 large courgettes
200g string beans
3 medium-sized or 5 small tomatoes, ripe and juicy
4 cloves of garlic
5 sprigs of thyme or 1 full teaspoon dried
fresh bread or baguette or lightly toasted in a pan
Fry onions and garlic first, then add all vegetables chopped in bite-sized pieces and layer them according to the list of ingredients above, with the hardest vegetable on the bottom. Add some water if necessary or possibly some white wine. Allow to cook covered on gas mark 2 for 1 hour, then reduce to gas mark 1 for another 45 minutes. Stir only occasionally and very gently.
Serve with fresh bread
* Bon appétit *