Ratatouille is a traditional French vegetable stew that is featured in my favorite animation of the same name. You can simply cut tomatoes, zucchini, squash or eggplant into cubes and use store bought tomato sauce. I am using homemade roasted pepper sauce instead as I prefer its complexed flavours. Slicing the vegetables and arranging them in a pattern will surely impress your guests.
2 large eggplants
3 medium sized zucchinis
5 Roma tomatoes (all about the same diameter)
Fresh herbs (parsley, basil, oregano or any herbs available to you)
Roasted pepper sauce
6 red or yellow peppers
6 cloves of garlic
1 to 2 red chilies (if you prefer a spicy sauce)
1 to 2 tablespoons of curry powder
1/2 tablespoon of mixed herbs
Store bought with herbs, garlic and onions, taste it to find your preferred sweetness.
Preheat oven at 400F/200C
Slice eggplants, zucchini and tomatoes into 3 mm slices. You can you a mandolin for even slices.
Alternate slices at the bottom of a round bake dish.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Brush sauce on slices and sprinkle herbs.
Repeat 2 more layers.
Pour some olive oil on the top layer
Bake in the oven for 30 mins
Roasted Pepper Sauce Method
Cut pepper into strips. Place skin side up and flatten them on a baking tray. You can also roast a whole pepper over your stove but I am afraid I may burn down my house :)
Broil/roast pepper strips in the oven 450F/230C for 3 mins. Check to see that it is "burnt". You need the burnt effect or the skin can't be removed. Turn the tray around for 1 to 2 more mins depending on the doneness (how burnt it is)
Remove the pepper strips from oven and dump them into a bowl of cold water
Continue to broil the rest of the pepper strips
Remove the flesh of the pepper from the cold water and discard the skin
Dice garlic, shallots, chilies and onions
In a saucepan, heat some olive oil and gently cook onion and shallot first followed by garlic, chilies and mixed herbs to release flavours. Be careful not to burn them.
Drain the pepper flesh and put them into the saucepan. Gently cook it in low heat and stir intermittently to ensure the pepper doesn't stick to the pan.
Season with salt and pepper. There's no need to add water as it will dilute the flavours.
After about 20 mins, check to see if pepper flesh is soft and mushy.
Add curry powder, mix well and taste test
Turn off heat
Use an immersion blender to blend until smooth
Store in fridge as dip or use it as a sauce.