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A Maltese version of Ratatouille made from tomatoes, capers, aubergines and green peppers which goes well with grilled fish.
This is a summer dish and can be eaten hot or cold. The ingredients are more of a general guideline than a strict recipe, as the thrifty Maltese housewife will use whatever spare veggies she may have. Maybe adding an extra pepper or a couple of carrots or omitting the celery if she has none that day. Capers, olives, garlic - these are generally added by eye - a handful or two of olives maybe, more or fewer capers.
- Approx 6 portions
- 500 g aubergines
- 500 g tomatoes
- a good-sized onion
- some cloves of garlic (to taste – maybe 4 or 6)
- 4 celery stalks
- green pepper
- 1 tablespoon of tomato purée
- 2 heaped tablespoons capers
- at least 12 green olives (pitted) and sliced
- olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- Peel and dice eggplants.
- Arrange in the colander and sprinkle with salt (removes acidity).
- Leave to drain for about 20 minutes, rinse.
- Bring to boil approx 1 litre of water.
- Wash celery stalks, chop them place in boiling water for 1 min.
- Remove celery from boiling water and place tomatoes in boiling water for 1 min.
- Peel tomatoes and finely dice celery.
- De-seed pepper.
- Thinly slice (approx half a cm wide by about 2 cms long) place the aubergine in frying pan with about 5 tablespoons of oil and gently sauté till brown (approx ten minutes) on a low heat.
- Peel and chop onion, peel and mince garlic.
- Place in saucepan with about 5 tablespoons of oil and sauté on a fairly high heat.
- When the onion is translucent add the celery, pepper, tomato puree and the sugar.
- Fry for a minute or two.
- Add the tomatoes, pepper and salt, reduce the heat and simmer for about ten minutes.
- Add the vinegar, aubergines, capers and olives.
- Mix, cover and simmer gently for twenty minutes adjust seasoning – add any herbs you fancy, bit of thyme or basil or parsley.
- Stir and simmer uncovered for 10 – 20 minutes, adding a bit of water to prevent drying out.
- The texture should be quite creamy, like a thick sauce serve hot or cold, as a main meal with fresh crusty Maltese bread or as an accompaniment to meat, fish or hard-boiled eggs.