This is one of my absolute favourites; it positively screams Mediterranean and sunshine at you.

This is one of our weekly staples and can be used in a wonderful variety of ways. What better way to accompany a barbecued shoulder of lamb? Perhaps a little less obvious is that it goes very well with Cajun blackened dishes: pork chop, chicken breast or salmon fillet. More recently, copying a little trick we learned in Madrid, it forms a great base for Heuvos Rotos (Broken Eggs) for lunch.

The moral here is always to make more Ratatouille than you think you need immediately.


serves: 4
preparation time: 5 mins
cooking time: 45 mins


  • 4 fl oz extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions
  • a few sprigs fresh thyme (or substitute ½ tsp dried thyme)
  • 2 large sweet peppers (red/yellow/mixture)
  • 3 medium courgettes
  • 1 large aubergine
  • 2 or 3 large vine tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt (approx)
  • 4 plump cloves garlic


(In the following, all vegetable ingredients should be cut into roughly 2cm chunks.)

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a deep pan large enough to take all the ingredients. Cut up the onion and fry it in the oil without colouring for about 3 mins, together with the thyme.

While the onion is cooking, remover the pith and seeds from the peppers and cut them up. Add them to the pan, stir and continue cooking for another 3 mins without colouring, stirring once more.

While that’s happening, top and tail the courgettes, quarter them lengthwise and chunk them. Add the chunks to the mixture, stir and continue to cook for another 3 mins stirring once more.

Meanwhile, chop up the garlic and crush it with salt. Stir this into the vegetables.

Now top and tail the aubergine and cut it up. Stir this in to the mixture and continue cooking for about another 3 mins, stirring once more.

Meanwhile, core and chop up the tomatoes. Stir the tomatoes into the mixture. Lower the heat, cover and cook gently for about 15 minutes. Stir well and simmer for another 15 minutes.

Get a pdf version of this recipe.

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