Just a friendly reminder that Canadian bloggers have until 27 October to get their recipes up and their info to me if they want to participate in Canadian Blogging By Post #2: Our Season's Bounty. A few early birds have sent in their links and info--so far it all looks really yummy.
I suppose I should wait until the bitter end to upload my recipe, but since I'll be away for the balance of the week, I thought I should leave you with what I'm bringing to the feast, in case it can help some of you decide what to do or what you can use. It's nothing fancy, but it's tasty and very versatile.
I am, of course, writing about my oven-roasted ratatouille.
Ever since I discovered the joys of oven-roasting vegetables, I've been a very happy camper. As someone who grew up with boiled, steamed and curried veg, roasting gives me an effortless way of preparing a tasty meal.
This is a very forgiving recipe, with the only real limitation being how many roasting tins you have. You also don't have to keep these veg in your version and just use whatever you have on hand but I will say that when I think of a traditional ratatouille, I do think that courgettes, tomatoes and aubergines need to play a part. If I make enough of it (read: I (as per usual) chop up far too many veg), I can freeze it or use it in a streudel, pasta or pizza topping, or whiz it all together, add some stock and turn it into soup...but if you do that, you'll miss all those beautiful colours...
450g aubergines (1 medium Italian or several of the elongated Asian kind (I prefer the elongated ones, myself)
900g ripe tomatoes (plum tomatoes, if you have them)
60 ml red wine
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
600g green or yellow courgettes (2 medium)
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1/2 a large red onion
6 garlic cloves (or however many you want)
1 dspn (2tsp) dried basil
1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
Chop the aubergines into 2.5-3 cm chunks and put all of them into a colander. Salt well and then place several paper towels on top of the veg. Place the colander in a sink basin or in a bowl and then put a weight on top of the veg--this will draw out the bitter juices--leave it for about 30 minutes (0r more). I'll admit that this step is totally up to you. I don't do this with Asian aubergines, but I will with Italian ones that look as if they've been sitting around for a bit too long...
While this happens, slice the tomatoes in half and squeeze out the pulp and seeds before cutting them into wedges. Put the wedges into a bowl, add salt, pepper and then the wine and vinegar.
Let the tomatoes macerate as you set the oven temp to 450F/220C, then go about chopping the courgettes and bell peppers into 2.5-3cm pieces and cut the onions into wedges. Depending upon how thick the garlic cloves are, you may want to slice each into two or three pieces.
In one or more roasting tins--for this quantity I use two lasagna pans--smear the insides with olive oil and a little salt and pepper. Take the weight off the aubergines, discard the bitter water and tumble the veg into the tins, then follow with the tomatoes (juices and all) and the rest of the veg and garlic. Drizzle olive oil, and then sprinkle the spices on top and mix all the veg together by hand. I usually add another restrained glug of olive oil on top prior to popping the tins into the oven.
Bake for an hour or until the veggies are tender and their edges are slightly singed.
tags: Canadian Blogging By Post 2
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