Ratatouille, a traditional Provençal vegetable stew, is a wonderfully versatile dish; it tastes as good hot or cold, and it can be eaten on its own or as an accompanying vegetable to meat, chicken and fish dishes. It is important to cook ratatouille gently so any wateriness evaporates and the vegetables become soft, sweet and mellow. Use only the best-quality ingredients, and really ripe tomatoes (the plum variety if available). Proportions and ingredients can be varied. It looks prettiest if you use different-coloured peppers.
Prepare 1 large unpeeled aubergine by cutting across in thick slices and then in half, sprinkle with salt and leave in a colander for 30 minutes. Wash and drain thoroughly. You will also need 5–6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2–3 sliced onions, 2-3 peppers, cut into strips,
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