For me a Tuesday is normally my best vegetable cooking day. In fact I could say that I eat only vegetables on a Tuesday.
The weekend is over, the routine of the week has started and things settle down nicely. My kitchen is usually brimful of fresh vegetables which I have picked up at the market on either Saturday or Sunday and rather than rush straight in and cook everything in sight, I wait a day or so, contemplating, pondering and giving a lot of thought to what transformation they might undergo.
This is an all vegetable ratatouille although it started out life as my caponata - a caponata so delicious it would go well with eggs for breakfast, bread for lunch and spaghetti for supper. However, it was not to be as I had so many things that I wanted to add.
Butternut squash, a few left over potatoes, red onion, green beans, aubergine, courgette, tomato - you can add almost anything you like to this, maybe carrot or turnip, and it is healthy, inexpensive and sings summer in my ear every time I make it.
You will need for 4 ...eh some vegetables
75ml sunflower oil
2 medium red onions, peeled and cubed
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
2 courgettes, cut into 3cm slices and quartered
1 large red pepper, cut into 3cm pieces
1 large aubergine, diced into 3cm pieces
1/2 butternut squash, peeled and diced into into 3cm pieces
2 potatoes, diced into 3cm pieces
2 ripe tomatoes, peeled and diced
1 medium sized green chili, seeds removed and finely sliced
15 (approx) green beans, trimmed
1 cup of water
wrinkled black olives (optional)
Place about 50ml of the oil into a heavy based casserole dish (one with a lid) and warm it through. Add the red onions and cook slowly for about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper, courgette and aubergine and cook for another 10 minutes.
Remove everything to a separate bowl with a slotted spoon leaving the oil in the base of the pan. Add the remaining 25 ml of oil, heat it through and add the squash and the potatoes. Cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes.
Return all the vegetables to the pot, add the beans and a cup full of cold water.
Bring to the boil, turn the heat down, place the lid on and simmer for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees.
In a large roasting tray spread out the vegetables and cover with the remaining juice.
Roast for a further 25 minutes until most of the juice has evaporated and the vegetables are melting soft.
Let it cool a little and serve warm with garlic rubbed toasted bread and a good crumbly goats cheese.
If you had some of the stoneless wrinkled black Greek olives I would scatter these through at the end while cooling.
I served this with some whole grain rice and crumbled goats cheese as an option. Healthy and delicious.
It was the perfect end to a perfect day - it feels a little wierd writing about breakfast in the evening after dinner - although I am best at this according to my husband - but I had the most delightful omelette in FoodGame on South Lotts Road this morning - eggs and coffee, sitting outside in the sunshine thanking my lucky stars for life.
A great little place with a welcoming buzz, great coffee, a well-stocked store of cooked goodies and quality ingredients to take home and always a smile, what more could you ask for on a Tuesday.