From plot to plate: chefs' kitchen garden secrets | Life and style | The Guardian
A classic summer vegetable stew that has many variations. Should the vegetables be cooked separately and be mixed only at the final stage? Should you use red or green peppers? Do you cook ratatouille on the top of the stove or in the oven? This ratatouille is best left for 24 hours before eating, to give it a nice firm texture.
olive oil 200ml
courgettes 6, sliced
onions 3, sliced
red peppers 2, cored, deseeded and sliced
aubergines 2, quartered and thickly sliced
garlic cloves 4, finely sliced
tomatoes 8, skinned, deseeded and quartered
thyme large sprig
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.
Heat half the oil in a large frying pan and sauté the courgettes gently.
When softened and turning golden, transfer them to an ovenproof casserole, leaving as much oil as possible in the frying pan.
Cook the onions gently in the frying pan, until wilted, then add to the courgettes in the casserole.
Sauté the red peppers in the frying pan until softened, and add them to the casserole.
Add more oil to the frying pan if required and cook the aubergines until they are just turning golden.
Transfer them to the casserole.
Gently sauté the garlic until it just turns transparent, then add the tomatoes to the frying pan.
Season with salt and pepper, and cook until the tomatoes are very soft.
Together with the thyme and bay leaf, tip the garlic and tomatoes into the casserole, stirring gently to distribute the tomatoes among the other vegetables.
Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.
Take off the lid and cook for a further 35 minutes.
Add the remaining olive oil and allow to cool completely.
Then cover the casserole again and keep the contents for 24 hours before serving at room temperature.