I know the weather’s now getting a bit warmer, so the season of soups and stews is now something that we’re starting to leave behind.. but personally I think that ratatouille amazing whatever the weather! I remember that it was something that my mum used to make to go with her dinner all of the time when I was a kid and I always imagined that it would be something that I wouldn’t really like- I think maybe because of al of the different veggies crammed in there. However, to my great surprise, since taking my first bite of a ratatouille, I discovered that I absolutely LOVE the stuff! I don’t know what it is exactly about it, but it just tastes so delicious with, like everything! It’s really simple and fuss free to make, but is still absolutely packed full of flavour. It’s also a really good way to use up any left over vegetables that you might have lying around in the fridge, because you can pretty much add anything to it and just use whatever it is that you have.
Some of my favourite ways to serve this are with a nice fillet of oven baked fish, like salmon or by adding in some king prawns and paring with some rice or cauliflower rice. I also love to cook up a large batch of it, to last me for future meals later on in the week. It’s such an easy thing to prepare in bulk and you can then just pop it into a container in the fridge and reheat it whenever you want to- it also tastes so yummy cold as well!
This ratatouille recipe does have a slightly more unusual twist to it however. I’ve actually added in some squares of raw chocolate here; which, I know might sound a little bit peculiar, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, trust me! The rich undertones from the cacao, add an incredible depth of flavour into the tomato sauce and it just creates a really delicious and unique version of the classic dish. The chocolate that I’ve used in this recipe, is of course the amazing Well + Happy chocolate, that I’ve been absolutely obsessing over lately! I pretty much love every single product of theirs, but in particular the Midnight chocolate bar- which is their highest cacao percentage chocolate bar. Since really getting into raw chocolate, I’ve become a huge fan of really dark chocolate blends and love 80% and above cacao chocolate- it honestly doesn’t taste anywhere near as bitter as I anticipated that it would!
- 1 can of chopped tomatoes 100g chestnut mushrooms 1/2 medium sized aubergine 1 red onion
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 courgette
- Handful of green beans Sea salt and pepper 1/2 can of water
- 2 squares of Well & Happy Midnight chocolate
- Dice the onion and add this into a pan with a little oil. Cook the onion on a medium heat until it starts to soften.
- Crush in the garlic cloves and sauté this until fragrant.
- Chop the aubergine and courgettes into bite-sized pieces and add these into the pan to soften slightly.
- Pour in the chopped tomatoes and fill the can half way with water, then add this into the pan also. Stir in the tomato puree. Slice the mushrooms and pop these into the pan, as well as the green beans and allow to simmer for around 20 minutes.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and continue to cook until the aubergine is nice and soft- around another 15-20 minutes.
- Finally, once all of the veggies are cooked through and the sauce has thickened a little, pop in the two squares of chocolate and stir these through as they melt into the mixture. Serve with some rice/cauliflower rice and additional protein if you would like.