Saturday, August 08, 2015


Regular readers of this blog (yes, there are a couple!) may recall that Andrew and I regularly go to dinner at our friends' place. We take the cooking in turns  one week they'll provide the main course and we'll take dessert, then vice versa  so I've become adept at producing portable dishes. Recently our friends acquired an au pair  a can-do German teenager who'll live with them for six months and help with the kids while on a gap year before starting uni. Often I take curries when it's my turn to do the main course, but the au pair is unaccustomed to spicy foods so was a bit overwhelmed last time I cooked! Tomorrow I'll be a little kinder and take ratatouille. Portable and tasty, but not spicy ...

4 tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, large, cubed
1 capsicum red, cubed
1 capsicum, yellow, cubed
1 aubergine [eggplant], cubed
1 tablespoon tomato purée
1 teaspoon thyme, fresh or dried
2 tablespoons basil, fresh
2 cloves garlic, crushed

Score a cross in the base of each tomato and plunge into a bowl of boiling water for 20 seconds. Peel the skin from the tomatoes, and discard skin. Chop tomato flesh into medium dice. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and cook the onion for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the capsicum and cook for 5 more minutes. Transfer onion and capsicum to a plate and set aside. Add the aubergine to the pan and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Return onion and capsicum to pan, and stir in the tomato purée. Add thyme and tomatoes. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the basil and garlic. Serve warm, with a crusty baguette.

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