This entry is filed under Vegetarian Recipes.


Fresh and vibrant ratatouille

You can’t fail to have noticed there’s a lot of spring lamb in the shops right now and one of the nicest accompaniments to lamb is ratatouille so long as it’s made well. 

But the chances are your experience of this classic Mediterranean dish may have been a gloopy mess consisting of slimy aubergines and soggy courgettes which is enough to put you off for life!  If this is the case, I hope I can tempt you into trying my altogether healthier, quicker and easier version.

Where people tend go wrong with ratatouille is by using too much oil in the frying process – aubergines will soak it up like a sponge – and then go on to overcook the vegetables until they become mushy. In the main it’s the fault of the recipe they’re following which more often than not suggests cooking the vegetables for around an hour. 

In my rather unorthodox recipe all the vegetables are baked fast in a hot oven so they remain crisp, colourful and fresh tasting (apart from the soft, golden aubergines that is!) Another plus is this method is less laborious because you don’t have to stand at the stove frying everything in batches. I do hope you give it a go…







Serves: 2 as a main course 4 as a side dish
Preparation & Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Effort Level: Easy
Shelf Life: 2 days in fridge

1 medium onion
3 fat cloves garlic
1 aubergine
1 courgette
1 red pepper
250ml passata
1 heaped tsp oregano
Olive oil

Chopping board and sharp knife
Medium saucepan
Food processor (optional)
Roasting tin

Here’s What You Do:
Preheat oven to 220C/ F/Gas

Finely chop the onion and garlic or blitz in the processor, then tip into a medium saucepan with a splash of olive oil and stir over a low heat for 3 minutes. Pour over the passata and sprinkle on the oregano then leave to simmer gently while you prepare the vegetables.

Take the aubergine and cut it lengthways into long slices 1cm thick – first slice off thinly the outer black skin and discard) – it should yield 4-5 slices.

Next, pour 3 tbsp olive oil into the roasting tin and dip the aubergine slices into the oil coating both sides and arrange in the tin.  Slide the tin onto the top oven shelf and leave to bake for 10 minutes or until golden.

Now prepare the peppers and courgette. Cut down the middle of each pepper, scoop out the seeds, then flatten each half with the heel of your hand on the chopping board. Slice the peppers lengthways into thin strips then quarter turn and repeat widthways, cutting them into small dice.

Top and tail the courgette and cut in half lengthways. Slice each half into 4-5 long strips, quarter turn and slice widthways at ½ cm intervals into small dice.

Now turn the aubergines over and bake for a further 3-5 minutes then remove from the oven and leave to cool on the chopping board.

Next, tip the dice peppers and courgettes into the tin, drizzle with a little oil if needed and bake on the top oven shelf for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven.

Season the tomato sauce with salt a little sugar – half a teaspoon should do it.

Stack the aubergine slices on top of one another and slice into bite size chunks, or if its easier snip them with a pair of scissors and tip them into the tomato sauce with the peppers and courgettes. Stir well and serve.

8 Responses to “Ratatouille”

  1. Uma says:

    Thanks Susanna! Much appreciated Uma

  2. Uma says:

    Thank You Christopher! Much appreciated Uma

  3. Susanna Stapleton says:

    Hi Uma,
    Just wanted to say I made your ratatouille and its the best ever! My husband asked me to make it again and even the kids ate it (I mixed theirs with spaghetti) very imnpressed. I like how the recipes are fully explained and actually work.
    Thank you. Looking forward to trying the salmon en croute this weekend.

    Best wishes

  4. Christopher says:

    Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I certainly enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author.

    I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will come back at
    some point. I want to encourage you to ultimately continue your great work, have a nice evening!

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  5. Gillian says:

    Hello Uma, I have always cooked all the vegetables for rat-a-tat-tat separateley because you get a so much more distinct flavour of all the different ingredients. However the different tweaks that you suggest, such as sweating the onions with the garlic and the adding the tomatoes (I didn’t have any passata so added some skinned deseeded toms and a little juice) I must admit that I added most of my seasoning to onion mixture, some herbses de Provence and just a hint of tabasco and cooking the aubergine slices whole before dicing them, certainly improved the finished dish. I made far too much and was asked to contribute something for a picnic on Sunday, so added some good homemade chicken stock and whizzed till smooth for a delicious soup! Everybody loved it and it very good chilled!

  6. Mario says:

    Hi Uma, I was visiting your blog and wanted to say that your recipe here is a refreshing take on ratatouille. Well thought out. I write a blog on Food, recipes and reviews. But with a relationship twist added. Please visit when you get a chance.

  7. Julia says:

    I’ve never like ratatouille for all the reasons you mention. but this looks great and a good way to get those 5 a day!

  8. An interesting way to make this classic veggie dish I’ll give it a try.

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