Simple Summer Ratatouille 

This particular ratatouille I’ve been making this summer doesn’t contain any eggplant. Sacrilege, I hear some of you say! I’ve been trying to cook dishes based on just ingredients grown from my garden…..and I’ve found it is a lot lighter and fresher without, but by all means add some eggplant if you’re desiring something a little more hearty.

1 large or 2-3 small zucchini ( roughly 500g)
5-6 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 medium red onion
350g Fresh mix of heirloom tomatoes 
400ml Preserved tomatoes, homemade pasatta or organic tinned chopped tomatoes 
eggplant (optional)
1 tbs dried rosemary 
1/4 c fresh flat leaf parsley coarsely chopped
1 tsp fresh oregano finely chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme finely chopped
organic olive oil

First of all start by adding a splash of olive oil to the bottom of a large frying pan. Add the finely diced garlic and the red onion cut in half and sliced into thin half rings and cook over a low- medium heat to caramelise. Once caramelised add the thinly sliced zucchini and toss through for a couple of minutes so that the flavour starts to infuse into the zucchini. Then add preserved tomatoes or pasatta and crumble in the dried rosemary (rub between your hands until it is quite fine) then add the fresh oregano and thyme. Cook for another couple of minutes before adding the fresh tomatoes. I like to dice the large ones and leave the small ones halved or whole. Cook until the fresh tomatoes are just starting to break down but the small ones remain whole.
Toss through some of the fresh parsley and flavour with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve with fresh crusty bread and drizzle some organic extra virgin olive oil over the plate with another sprinkling of parsley a quick grind of pepper and voila! The most herbaceous, fresh ratatouille singing with goodness! 

Nicoles Notes

This works particularly well as a side dish without the eggplant as an accompaniment to chicken or beef but I generally end up eating a whole serve just of this!….and possibly more if I’m truthful.

For the best flavour I’ve used an heirloom variety of zucchini called ‘Mexican Grey’ but any heirloom varieties would be good. The heirloom tomatoes I’ve used are Wild Sweetie, Candy Sweet Icicle, Lucid Gem, Pineapple Pig, Green Zebra Cherry and John’s Big Red but again any varieties of heirloom tomatoes in fine.