This vegetable ratatouille is packed with fresh tomatoes and generous quantities of fragrant herbs. Ratatouille is a celebration of seasonal vegetables, and one bite of this simple vegetarian dish will transport you to a summer day in Provence. Vegetable ratatouille is a hearty stew that can be prepared in many different ways, according to different French traditions. Some versions cook each vegetable separately, and some cook them all together in one batch. We like to cook them together as it’s much less of a faff, and it allows all the flavours of the vegetable ratatouille to marry together. This rustic French stew is delicious with a chunk of crusty bread for a simple but satisfying lunch.
- small head of celery, roughly chopped
- 3 red peppers, roughly chopped
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 1 small fennel bulb, roughly chopped
- 3tbsp olive oil
- 2 courgettes, roughly chopped
- few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1tbsp caster sugar
- 130g black olives
- 270g cherry tomatoes, quartered
- handful of basil and flat-leaf parsley leaves
Heat the oven to 180C. Toss the celery, red peppers, onions and fennel in 2tbsp olive oil on a baking tray. Roast for 10 mins, until just soft. Add the courgettes and thyme, tossing to coat in the olive oil, and roast for another 10 mins. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Heat the remaining 1tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the garlic until just golden. Add the roasted vegetables, sugar, olives and cherry tomatoes. Cook over a medium heat for a further few mins, until the tomatoes are warmed through but still holding their shape. Remove from the heat, scatter with the parsley and basil, and serve.