A Not Turkish Recipe – Ratatouille

I know ratatouille isn’t a Turkish recipe – but as part of trying to eat healthily for our fast approaching run, we had it for tea a few nights ago. And of course, we made it with Turkish ingredients so it’s kind of Turkish.

I’ve never particularly liked ratatouille – what’s so interesting about a few vegetables stewed in a pan of tomatoes? And then one night while we were back in England, we were watching an episode of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage on TV. He’d just harvested the vegetables from his garden and he took out four pans and produced this fantastic version of ratatouille. We’ve eaten ratatouille like this ever since.

Ratatouille ingredients

Ratatouille ingredients

Yes, you read it right. I did say FOUR pans. It’s heavy on the washing-up (for those of us who don’t own a dishwasher) and on the gas, but this was what made us want to try cooking it in this way in the first place. Could it really be worth going to all that trouble? Could the difference in taste be so different as to merit all this extra effort? Yes, is the answer to that. At least, we think so – but then we love Hugh.

A Not Turkish Recipe For Ratatouille

  • Place 4 pans on the hob and add a little olive oil to each.
  • Into your first pan, add half a clove of crushed or grated garlic and two medium-sized aubergines, chopped into bite-sized chunks. Saute these for a couple of minutes before you start with your other pans as your aubergines take longer to cook.
  • Into pan 2 add one onion, chopped into large chunks and half a clove of crushed or grated garlic. We also added a chopped red pepper just because we can’t resist adding extras.
  • Pan 3 needs half a clove of crushed or grated garlic and 2 medium courgettes, sliced. Pan 3 needs to be on a medium heat until your courgettes are cooked through. Turn the heat up at the end to brown them a little.
  • Pan 4 is for your cherry tomatoes and, again, half a clove of garlic. We only had medium-sized tomatoes in the fridge so we used 4 of these instead. (If you’re reading this in the UK, read ‘large tomatoes.’)

So, now we have four pans on the hob, all with sizzling vegetables.

4 Pan Ratatouille

4 pans on the hob, simultaneously

The great thing about this dish is you don’t have to worry about everything being ready at the same time. As soon as you think something is cooked, remove it from the heat and keep going with each pan until you’re happy that everything is cooked as you like it.

Ratatouille - with Turkish ingredients

A serving of ratatouille, using Turkish ingredients

Once everything is cooked, put all your vegetables into one pan, season with salt and pepper and heat through, while mixing them all together. You only need to do this for a minute – don’t let the vegetables stew.
The reason for going to the effort of using four pans is so that when you mix all of your vegetables together and serve them, you can still taste each individual flavour rather than tomato-flavoured everything. Also, the vegetables are sautéed instead of boiled and stewed; a completely different (and better) texture and taste.

This recipe is taken from the wonderful River Cottage Cookbook by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

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  1. It definitely must be worth the washing up!!!

  2. Looks like the four pans were well worth it. I now have fond feelings for it b/c of the Disney movie!

  3. @ bellini valli: Yes, worth the washing up. It’s sooo nice.

    @ Belinda: 4 pans are definitely worth it. Cheap to make rataouille in Turkey but mut work out really expensive in the UK.

  4. who does the dishes? also trying to get back in shape and attempted racing with my kids yesterday. I lost each and every time. Tasty looking ratatouille.

  5. @ Sarah: Barry does the dishes much more often then me! 🙂 It’s boring, trying to get back into shape – maybe it’s more fun if you;re racing kids.

  6. It’s delicious! I LOVE this dish!

  7. I actually didn’t know what went into Ratatouille before reading this. I have to say that making it the way you’re doing makes more sense than having it all in one pot. I’ll have to give this dish a try.

  8. @ Angela: We love it too now we’ve discovered this way of cooking it.

    @ Steve: When it’s all in one pot, everything stews and you just end up with a tomato flavour instead of mixed vegetable flavours.

  9. Caz Makepeace says

    You have the best recipes. My vegetarian self loves this!

  10. @ Caz: Yes, a good vegetarian option. We’re semi-vegetarian these days as meat is so expensive in Turkey.

  11. oh this is awesome. I love your food posts. I just learned how to make Costa Rican Russian Salad lol and will be posting that soon. It’s delicious!

  12. @ Erin: Thanks. Costa Rican RUSSIAN salad? 🙂 Will look forward to that one. We love different recipes.

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