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Recipe in the Guardian

I've been a big fan of Felicity Cloake's Perfect column for the Guardian ever since it started. more...


Like many people, I suspect, I had long harboured a notion that ratatouille was a naff eighties vegetarian cliché. Sampling a few poor ones in restaurants just confirmed my opinion that it was essentially a tasteless vegetable slop.


But Tobias has always been a big fan of it. Over protest, he cooked it a few times for me and I have to admit it was pretty good. But, like Thai curry and spaghetti bolognaise, ratatouille always remained one of the few dishes on which Tobias claimed cooking rights, banishing me from the kitchen.


But a few weeks ago, Felicity Cloake of The Guardian, in her excellent series of articles How to make perfect..., wrote about ratatouille and I was inspired to reclaim it for myself. (Spaghetti bolognaise was liberated from Tobias a long time ago, Thai curry is sadly still suffering under oppression and dictatorship.)


Felicity's full article can be found here. She applied her customary rigour to the subject by testing a number of different chefs "perfect" ratatouille recipes and reported on the results.


A few weeks ago, I pretty much followed Felicity's recipe to the letter. Last night, I made it again, with a few changes to suit my own tastes. Primarily, I omitted saffron, added smoked paprika (with optional chorizo) and added onion and yellow-pepper slices into the vegetables. I also quite like it a bit wetter, so I didn't reduce excess liquid at the end. My version can be found on the recipes page.


Tobias refuses to concede that it is superior to his version (which, incidentally, is cooked in an entirely different way, on the stovetop) but I think it has more depth of flavour this way.

Posted by Caroline on 21 August 2010 | 2 Comments

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  • Ratatouille from my childhood is remembered as a fairly liquid dish with the vegetables losing their identities. Then came a craze for roast versions. The vegetables kept their identities but some could be overdone and it could be dry. My current favourite version griddles the peppers, aubergines and courgettes on the barbecue and adds them to a stove top sauce made with onions, tomatoes, and herbs and flavourings of choice/season. I find this gives the most flavour, and allows control over the amount of liquid in the dish.

    Posted by Sue, 18/03/2014 10:52am (7 years ago)

  • aaah, ratatouille... fond childhood memories of that one. ratatouille and / or bolognaise ... both always seemed to taste so much better as leftovers the night after the night before, served simply on buttered toast instead of all this faffing with spaghetti and the like.

    Posted by mich, 22/08/2010 12:28pm (11 years ago)

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