Tomato and Fennel ragout
This Tomato and Fennel Ragout is a vegetarian side dish and is a great alternative to the famous French ratatouille. It is a similar dish but uses fennel and tomato as the stars of the show.
⦁ 400 grams fresh tomatoes or a can of chopped tomatoes.
⦁ 2 medium sized fennel bulbs
⦁ 1 medium sized aubergine
⦁ 2 medium sized onions
⦁ 4 tablespoons of chopped parsley
⦁ 4 cloves of garlic
⦁ 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil (for cooking)
⦁ Begin the recipe by boiling a large saucepan of water.
⦁ Cube the eggplant and salt the cubes for 15-20 minutes to extract excess water. Rinse them in a colander to remove salt.
⦁ Immerse each tomato in boiling water for 5-10 seconds and then immediately plunge them into a bowl of iced water. Peel tomatoes, cut them into quarters and remove seeds. (NOTE: Only use fresh tomatoes if they are well in season. Otherwise, use tinned tomatoes).
⦁ Cut off the fennel stalks and remove the outer leaves. Halve remainder lengthwise. Blanch each half by plunging into boiling salted water for 5-6 minutes. Again, plunge into iced water.
⦁ Thinly slice the onion. Peel the garlic and remove the germ. Chop the parsley.
⦁ Warm the oil in a pan over a low heat and bathe the onion in it. Make space in the pan for the fennel and add it, again bathing in the oil, and allow the 2 vegetables to warm for a couple of minutes. Gently mix the 2 vegetables together and cook for a further 10 minutes on a low heat, uncovered.
⦁ Add minimal salt and pepper and then the eggplant, garlic and tomatoes. Add another sprinkle of minimal salt and pepper. There is no need to mix the vegetables together.
⦁ Add a little water to the pan if the mixture appears too dry. Cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes.
⦁ Add the chopped parsley and cook for a further 5 minutes. (NOTE: 4 anchovy fillets may be added with the parsley).