A lovely but short week-end in Paris yielded a bunch of photos, some nice encounters and a few recipes. Travelling is such a creative pursuit: you come back refreshed, full of new flavours, new images and new ideas. There is nothing like breaking the routine to give you a renewed zest for life!
I had experimented lately with a few low fat recipes in my steamer and Cecile’s suggestion of using Pastis to finish off a ratatouille sounded too tempting to resist, so here is my take on it. A lovely, fluffy and light summer dish with a strong hint of aniseed to conjure up some sunshine.
- Aubergines, 2
- Red pepper,1
- Green pepper, 1
- Courgettes, 2
- Large tomatoes, 4
- Onions, 3
- Garlic cloves, 3
- Thyme, sprigs
- Rosemary, sprigs
- Olive oil, 4 Tbsp
- Tomato paste, 2 Tbsp
- Dash of Pastis (Pernod or Ricard, no bias)
Wash the vegetables and cut them up in cubes of equal size. Take the seeds out of the peppers and peel and chop the onions and garlic. To get rid of tomato skin, plunge them into a bowl of boiling water and peel with a sharp knife: most of it will come off easily!
Steam the vegetables on the hob or in an electric steamer for 15 minutes, adding the courgettes and tomatoes towards the end (about 5 minutes before). Do reserve the sliced onions and garlic which you are going to fry in a little olive oil until they are soft.
Drain the vegetables and add them to the frying pan over low heat now for another 10 minutes.
Add a spoonful of tomato paste, season with salt, pepper and herbs. Adjust the amount of liquid by adding water if necessary and simmer for 30 minutes. Towards the end, raise the heat and drop a dash of pastis into the mix!
You can use fresh tarragon to decorate and add to the flavours. But either way, this recipe will produce an intensely flavoured ratatouille that is neither oily nor watery, will melt in you mouth and be good for you inside out…
Gentle steaming is the best way to keep the good vitamins inside your veggies and avoid using too much fat in cooking. It is recommended in a macrobiotic diet because it allows to keep the nutrients and the energy of the plants alive.