But I so wanted to get it, to enjoy it too. I was not ready to give up on it just yet. I couldn’t understand why so many people waxed poetic about it. I wanted to be able to do the same.
And so I kept with it, persistently. Periodically trying a new recipe to see if I might not come up with something that I enjoyed. I so wanted to be able to taste what it was that other people were tasting.
A few weeks back I saw a video on Tasty for what looked like a really pretty ratatouille. It was composed of a sauce that was cooked first on top of the stove and then layered in a dish.
Next they added layers of thinly sliced rounds of vegetables to the top. They were arranged so prettily. It looked like a picture.
They drizzled a basil oil over top and then covered it tightly and baked it, until the vegetables were meltingly tender. It looked quite promising.
This week I added all of the vegetables to my grocery order so that I could make it. I bought myself some fresh yellow and green courgettes (zucchini) and ripe roma tomatoes. I also bought some baby aubergine (eggplant).
I did not want to make a full recipe, as I knew it would be far too much for us to conceivably eat. We do not have the appetites these days that we used to have in the old days.
Instead of their suggested topping for the vegetables I created one of my own using basil pesto, olive oil and a splash of Balsamic vinegar. I cannot think of anything that doesn’t taste much better when having added a bit of Balsamic vinegar to it.
It looked as pretty as a picture before it went into the oven. I was so pleased with how it looked. I was almost dancing around the room. If this tasted even half as good when done as it looked before baking, we were in for a real treat!
I envisioned this beautiful pie dish of ratatouille coming from the oven. We eat first with our eyes after all, and it did smell quite lovely when it was baking.
Hmmm . . . it came out looking a bit like a dog’s dinner I am sad to say. LOL I had to laugh when I saw it. Where was the visual appeal?
Anyways, I dutifully scattered some fresh basil over top and took some photos. If I am honest, and I always am, I wasn’t feeling very hopeful.
To say I was more than a tad bit disappointed in how it looked is a bit of an understatement. The proof of the pudding is in the eating however, so I was reserving my judgement for that.
Even though there was a huge part of me that was thinking that if this looked this nasty, then it was going to taste nasty also. Admittedly it looked quite a bit better once I broke through and spooned some of it onto a plate.
But how would it taste . . . I held my breath. I had some lovely fresh French Bread that I had been saving to dip into it when it was done.
Admittedly, I hate to waste food. Fresh vegetables are somewhat expensive, even at this time of year when they are plentiful. If you don’t have a garden, you are at the mercy of the shops.
I have to say the fresh veg I have been getting from Ocado have been really nice. They cost a bit more than Asda, but quality speaks for itself, and I have been more than happy with everything. They have now partnered with M&S and M&S is quality.
I spooned some out onto the plate. It didn’t look half bad. It smelled gorgeous if I don’t say so myself. I was feeling rather hopeful.
I had my crusty bread at the ready. Was I going to be happy? Was I finally going to see why people wax lyrical about Ratatouille?
I was pleasantly surprised just by what it looked like spooned onto my plate. It actually looked so good that my tastebuds started to tingle . . .
It was filled with colour and texture. It smelled amazing. I was beginning to be hopeful.
I spooned some onto my bread. I did not butter the bread. I did not want my palate for the ratatouille spoiled by my love of butter. I wanted to try it completely unadulterated . . .
I did toy with the idea of toasting my bread, but in the end, I left it in its natural crusty state. I am happy that I did.
This was amazingly delicious! I was really pleased. The zucchini and the eggplant were properly tender. The tomatoes melted in the mouth . . .
There was none of the bitterness that you can sometimes get from both zucchini and eggplant. Both were somewhat buttery, almost sweet and somewhat indulgent.
The flavour of the sauce that was on the bottom perfectly enhanced and had flavoured everything. The pesto/balsamic mixture I had sprinkled on top had done its job perfectly.
The crusty bread was perfect without butter. It did a beautiful job of mopping everything up. I did what I had not done in a very long time. I went in for seconds.
- 1 14-oz (400g) tin of chopped tomatoes in tomato juice
- 1/2 small red bell pepper, trimmed and chopped
- 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 6 basil leaves chopped
- 1 medium green zucchini (courgette) thinly sliced, 1/8 inch thick
- 1 medium yellow zucchini (courgette) thinly sliced, 1/8 inch thick
- 1 very small egg plant (aubergine), trimmed and thinly sliced, 1/8 inch thick
- 2 roma tomatoes, cored and thinly sliced, 1/8 inch thick
- fine sea salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 TBS basil pesto
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- torn basil leaves to garnish
- crusty French bread to serve
- Begin by making the sauce. Add the oil to a saucepan. Add the peppers, onions and garlic. Sweat over medium heat, stirring frequently for 4 to 5 minutes until tender. Add the tomatoes and seasonings. Simmer for about 15 minutes until nicely thickened. (This is important as the vegetables will give out more liquid in the oven and you don’t want them to dilute the sauce too much.) Pour into an 8 inch pie dish, smoothing over the top. Place on a baking tray.
- Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F/ gas mark 5.
- Arrrange the sliced vegetables decoratively over top of the tomato sauce, pushing them down into it a bit.
- Whisk together the pesto, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Drizzle this over top of the vegetables in the baking dish. Cover tightly with aluminium foil.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for a further 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are meltingly tender.
- Serve warm or at room temperature, garnish with fresh basil and with some fresh French bread to help mop all of it up. Delicious!
Did you make this recipe?
Thanks so much for visiting. Do come again!
Debunking the myths of English Cookery, one recipe at a time.
The English Kitchen
Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!
Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at https://mitocopper.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST
Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at https://www.herbanomic.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST
Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!
Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.
pathogens and gives you more
energy. (See Blood Video)
Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser! Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen!
Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.
Smart Meter Cover - Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%! (See Video)
Immusist Beverage Concentrate - Proprietary blend, formulated to reduce inflammation while hydrating and oxygenating the cells.