As promised it’s time for some pure seasonal joy and what could be better than Aubergiene, Courgette, Tomato and Basil. The problem is when I think of these ingredients, I think Ratatouille, which is hot and warming and well not particularly summery. However all of these key ingredients are at there best right now, so it seems foolish not to use them because they don’t ‘feel’ summery!
The answer, heat them up, cool them down. Simple, cook and cool. That way I get something filled with all the yummy ingredients, packed with loads of flavour (which only intensify as you let it mush down together) and lovely and cooling!
There is definitely room to play around with this recipe, mix up the herbs, add in some capers or anchovies, get creative. I think with a strong base of lovely vegetables there is very little you can do to muck this up.
To make this extra specially I have been trying to grow my own basil – the perfect addition to this salad. However at the moment they are still a little too small, but one day this dish will taste even better because it will be made from basil grown in my kitchen! Hurray for urban gardening! (I know it doesn’t really count as I am just growing herbs… but I am trying, so cut me some slack.)
So let’s get down to it.
Ingredients ( for 2)
1/2 Red Onion ( or you could substitute in 3 spring onions)
1 Yellow Pepper ( you could also use red or orange)
2 Cloves Garlic
Handful Basil Leaves
Splash of Balsamic Vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Chop your aubergine, courgette into small-ish chunks, heat a frying pan with oil and gentle sauté for about 5-6mins, until they are just starting to look cooked and golden
2. Chop your onion, pepper into chunks and crush/finely chop your garlic, place in a bowl and add the cooked vegetables, season with salt and pepper and cover with cling film. Leave to the side to cool
3. Chop your tomato into chunks add to the bowl along with some basil and the juice of half a lemon. Then leave for about 30mins to get yummy
4. When ready to serve drizzle with some olive oil, a splash of balsamic and add some fresh basil leaves to the mix
( as a side note I put the leftovers from this salad in the fridge overnight and I think it was even more flavourful the next day!) ( what I am really trying to say is you can make this in advance and it might even get better)
And that’s it. A simple summer ratatouille salad.
Seasonal eating at its best.