- 2 large aubergines
Although it's technically a fruit (a berry, to be exact), the aubergine is used as a…
- 4 small courgettes
The courgette is a variety of cucurtbit, which means it's from the same family as cucumber,…
- 2 red or yellow peppers
- 4 large ripe tomatoes
A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…
- 5 tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- supermarket pack or small bunch basil
Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…
- 1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar (any kind)
Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…
Cut the aubergines in half lengthways. Place them on the board, cut side down, slice in half lengthways again and then across into 1.5cm chunks. Cut off the courgettes ends, then across into 1.5cm slices. Peel the peppers from stalk to bottom. Hold upright, cut around the stalk, then cut into 3 pieces. Cut away any membrane, then chop into bite-size chunks.
Score a small cross on the base of each tomato, then put them into a heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water over the tomatoes, leave for 20 secs, then remove. Pour the water away, replace the tomatoes and cover with cold water. Leave to cool, then peel the skin away. Quarter the tomatoes, scrape away the seeds with a spoon, then roughly chop the flesh.
Set a sauté pan over medium heat and when hot, pour in 2 tbsp olive oil. Brown the aubergines for 5 mins on each side until the pieces are soft. Set them aside and fry the courgettes in another tbsp oil for 5 mins, until golden on both sides. Repeat with the peppers. Don’t overcook the vegetables at this stage, as they have some more cooking left in the next step.
Tear up the basil leaves and set aside. Cook the onion in the pan for 5 mins. Add the garlic and fry for a further min. Stir in the vinegar and sugar, then tip in the tomatoes and half the basil. Return the vegetables to the pan with some salt and pepper and cook for 5 mins. Serve with basil.
Make it your ownGive the dish a Moroccan twist by frying the onions with 2 tsp harissa paste and stirring in 400g can chickpeas, drained. For a more intense Mediterranean flavour, add 1 tbsp capers, a handful of pitted black olives and a few chopped anchovies. Make it your own Spoon into a gratin dish, sprinkle with crumbs from 2 slices bread and a handful grated parmesan. Drizzle with olive oil and grill until golden. Make it your own Add a deseeded and finely chopped chilli with the garlic for an extra kick.