What is making Pete’s kitchen smell so good this week?
Here at Pete’s Eats we have a slogan – ‘One eye on tradition, one eye on the future and one eye on the clock’. After all, Pete is a busy man! This slogan came to the fore this week when our friends from Fareshare delivered a fantastic, colourful array of seasonal veg – cherry tomatoes, courgettes, red onions, fennel and glorious mushrooms.
Stir It Up
At once our minds turned to that most traditional of dishes – Ratatouille. Thought to have originated in the late eighteenth century in the Provence area of France – the word ratatouille originates from the Occitan word ratatolha meaning “to stir up”. Typically it was a mixture of autumnal vegetables designed to make the best use of seasonal products. The base of the dish would be tomatoes and courgettes but it would invariably contain aubergine and peppers.
A Modern Twist
The fact that there were no peppers or aubergines in our store, would no doubt have sent traditionalists into a spiral of despair, but the cutting edge team at Pete’s Eats immediately devised a new recipe which added a modern twist to an old favourite.
Here’s How To Do It
Put three kilos of cherry tomatoes into baking trays, with a splash of oil and a liberal quantity of salt (tomatoes can take it, trust me). Place into a very hot oven until the tomatoes pop and blister and are swimming in their own juices – maybe 30 minutes. Put to one side.
Next peel about 500g of red onions and cut then into quarters (or halves if they are small) and thinly slice four fennel bulbs. As before, add a small amount of oil and put them into a hot oven until they blacken slightly.
Lastly slice up four or five medium courgettes into rounds a bit thicker than a pound coin and fry them in a nearly dry pan until they colour.
Add the onion mixture to the tomatoes in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Give it a taste – you could add a few dried herbs at this point. About 10 minutes before serving add the fried courgettes (you don’t want them to go soggy). Serve with whatever you want. We chose pork chops, garlic mushrooms and crusty bread – because that was what was hiding in Pete’s fridge. The residents certainly approved. Enjoy!