This was a nice freestyle ratatouille I cooked up for a springtime lunch out on the verandah. The local fruit & veg shop had bags of nice fresh zucchini on special for a couple of dollars, and bright firm eggplants on their shelves – ratatouille was the first dish I thought of.
Chop up one onion, and roughly chopped a few cloves of garlic. I used a ceramic casserole dish to cook this in, because I wanted to serve it straight from the stovetop onto the table.
Saute the onion and garlic in a bit of oil until translucent. Chop the zucchini and eggplant into rough chunks. (My eggplant was a nice young one with barely-there seeds – I think the only time you need to salt eggplant is when the seeds are larger and it’s older and more bitter.)
Add the chopped zucchini and eggplant to the pot, and cook for a while, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has shrunk down a bit. I seasoned it at this stage, with plenty of pepper and a little dash of salt. Add a 500g can of chopped tomatoes, and let simmer for about 30 minutes. You want the vegetables to be soft, but not mushing together.
This stew had a beautiful fresh flavour, thanks to those lovely zucchinis, and I enjoyed it as leftovers stirred through pasta, and served with a beef curry.