Salads

Green bean, ratatouille & feta salad

I made this as a large dish to serve at a party using almost 6kgs of seasonal vegetables. It’s good for a party as it can be made in advance and served at room temperature. You can obviously scale down the quanties if you like, but it will keep in the fridge so it’s worth making a reasonable amount.  I cooked everything in a large, wide, thick based saucepan. I started by heating up about half a cup of olive oil and then I peeled and sliced about 600g onions and slowly fried them. I added a whole bulb of garlic which I crushed with a teaspoon or so of sea salt and some black peppercorns and added to the pan. Then I deseeded and slice 4 bell peppers, about 800g, and added these and then I quartered 1kg of small purple aubergines and added them (you can cube a large aubergine instead). Next cut 800g courgettes into batons and added these. I fried everything for a while and then added 1.5kgs of cheery tomatoes and added a couple of bay leaves and a bouquet garni and a can (220g) of pitted black olives and a mixed everything together. Next I put 1kg of green beans on top and covered the pan for a few minutes to sweat some of the juice out of the veggies. Then I tool of the lid and simmered the veggies on a low heat for about an hour until everything was cooked and the juice was nice and rich. I allowed the ratatouille to cool to room temperature and then took out the bay leaves and the bouquet garni  and put the ratatouille in a serving bowl and cubed a 200g block of feta cheese and sprinkled it on top. I served with homemade focaccia, to mop up the juices, and a Spanish omelette.

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