Hot Ratatouille and Couscous

Working at home gives more choices for food, but does need some organisation. If not, you're likely to find that there's nothing in the pot for lunch or - even worse - at dinner time. 

Hot ratatouille with couscous and goat's cheese.
VDuBourdieu©2011
The trick for me is deciding what food I'm going to eat fairly soon after breakfast, but as long as you have a few basic vegetables around, here's a good fall back for times when you're not so well organised.

Ratatouille comes in many forms although it usually comprises tomatoes, peppers and eggplant as the base mixture.  It can be prepared in a slow cooker, roasted in the oven; and eaten on its own - hot or cold, blended for soup or topped with yoghurt or goat's cheese. 

As the dish can sometimes be a little bland, I often add a touch of chilli for bite, lady's fingers for a variation on the more usual courgettes or quarter a pickled lemon as one of the ingredients.

Today's lunch contained the ingredients below; topped with a round of French goat's cheese.  Tomorrow I shall blend the remaining vegetables into a summery soup by adding a pint of chicken stock and a little clotted cream. You can see my photo of a similar soup.

Ingredients


Ratatouille
10 lady's fingers, stems removed
4 tomatoes, quartered
½ red pepper, de-seeded, cut lengthways into strips; cut strips in half if too big
 ½ yellow pepper, as above
½ green pepper, as above
1 small green chilli, chopped finely
1 eggplant, as above
Juice of one lemon
Generous slurp of organic virgin olive oil
Freshly ground salt and black pepper to taste


Leftover ratatouille recycled as soup.
VDuBourdieu©2011

Couscous
1 cup couscous
1 tab olive oil
1 dsp butter
1 tab finely chopped fresh dill
Salt and pepper to taste

Method
Marinate the vegetables in oil, lemon and seasoning for half an hour.
Roast in a baking dish at about 150 Celsius, 300 Fahrenheit, 2 Gas Mark for a couple of hours until the vegetables are tender and then whisk the heat up for 10-15 minutes until they are also golden. Serve with oven-finished couscous and green salad.

To Cook Couscous
Put couscous in ovenproof dish.  Add seasoning and olive oil.  Pour over 1 cup boiling water.  Mix quickly and leave to absorb liquid.  Put dish into oven when after turning the heat up to brown the vegetables.  Fork through butter and dill after removing from oven.

Option 1
125g yoghurt
1-2 cloves garlic
1 tsp Moroccan spices: dried cinnamon, date, apricot
Mix yoghurt with spices and squeezed garlic; use to dress the vegetables.

Option 2
Use one round of goat's cheese per person.  To achieve this with the least fuss, spoon out some of the cooked ratatouille into individual, oven-safe dishes and put the cheese on top.  Turn the heat up and put the dishes on a tray in the middle of the oven until both the cheese and vegetables have browned to your taste.


1 comment:

Em said...

I like the sound of this. It seems ideal for our cold winter evenings. I have often wondered how to cook ladies fingers or okra as it is called here. Now I know one way – I’ll give it a go this week. Lovely colour combination. Em from www.melbourneplaces.com