I have been out of the kitchen with the January blues recently and this is the first proper meal I have cooked since the dinner on Christmas day. Me and my mother have decided that, in order to eat more healthily, we are going to go on a mostly vegetarian diet for a while and this is the first meal I have cooked as part of that scheme. My friend Claire, who is a vegetarian, was very happy to hear about this and said that I should do a feature on my blog with the vegetarian meals that I am cooking so I intend to do this to give me something to focus on.
Ratatouille is something which I have made quite a lot because it is fairly easy and delicious, it is also one of the few vegetarian meals which I know exactly how to make. For the past few months I have been making it with herb dumplings - dumplings have been a new favourite for me, I had never made them before November of last year - but we bought a big block of parmesan when food shopping so I thought that making parmesan and herb dumplings might work quite well.
for the ratatouille:
2tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 large courgette
1 orange pepper
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1tsp vegetable stock powder
salt and pepper
for the dumplings:
125g self raising flour
50g butter/ lard
60g grated parmesan
1tsp dried thyme
1tbs dried parsley
salt and pepper
1 beaten egg for glazing
- Chop the onion into small pieces and fry with the olive oil and garlic in a cast iron casserole dish, if you have one, if not then do it in a large pan and transfer to a lidded oven proof dish later on.
- Chop the courgette into slices, the aubergine into quartered slices and the pepper into smallish pieces then add to the frying onion and garlic.
- Add the salt and pepper and fry for a few minutes until all of the veg is slightly softened
- Add the chopped tomatoes, honey, marmite and stock powder
- Put the casserole dish in the oven at 150 degrees for about 45 minutes
- Meanwhile prepare the dumplings, put the flour in a bowl and grate the butter and 3/4 of the parmesan into it, then rub briefly to make it into a breadcrumb like consistency. Add the herbs and seasoning, then add small amounts of water at a time, mixing it together with a knife, until it all sticks together
- Roll the dumpling mixture into six balls, then when the ratatouille is ready put the dumplings on the top of it, glaze them with the egg and put the rest of the parmesan on top of them
- Turn the oven up to 200 degrees and place the casserole dish back in with the lid off for 15 minutes or until the dumplings are golden brown.
You can just have this as a meal on its own, in which case it will serve 3 people, or you could serve it with potatoes, then it would probably serve 6, depending on how much you want to eat of it. Personally I think it is delicious, I love ratatouille with dumplings, and it is so healthy, definitely a good meal for a healthy, vegetarian diet.