from FOOD MAGIC by Jocasta Innes
“This has become such a glory and standby of our family cooking that aggrieved members say: “What, no rat?” if they come for a weekend and find it missing. A ratatouille is basically just a mixture of vegetables all cooked together; the delicious French version is very similar to the following, except that it has aubergines / eggplants in it. This concoction originated in days when aubergine was rare and expensive. We even tried making it without the green pepper, but decided that it was necessary. Of course, you can experiment and use whatever vegetables are available, but this combination seems to be particularly successful. The amounts are rather approximate. In the courgette season, they tend to predominate.”
4-5 zucchini / courgettes
2-3 carrots, peeled
4 Tbsp. sunflower or olive oil
2 large onions, peeled and sliced
1 green pepper, deseeded and sliced
14 oz. can tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced [optional]
salt and black pepper
Slice some courgettes in rounds and some in other shapes. If the carrots are small and new, chop them, but if they are big and old, slice them very thinly, as they seem to take a long time to soften.
heat the oil in a heavy saucepan or large frying pan, and put in the vegetables in order, turning and cooking them a little and not worying if they brown: first the onions, then the pepper, then the carrots and then the courgettes. Lt them cook on a medium heat, turning, for about 10 minues.
Now add the tomatoes with their juice and all the seasonings. Turn the heat down and let the mixture simmer. Make sure the carrots are well covered. Cook for at least 20 minutes, sirring occasionally, or until all the vegetables are cooked and the sauce is thickish and tomatoey. If it is too thick, add a little water.
You can serve this hot or cold. It will keep very well for several days and can be reheated.