Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Wrote today's blog rather quickly with brain slightly fogged from work mania. Suddenly realised it might be open to misinterpretation. I do not want to sound rude to all the Daisies out there. Daisy is the prettiest of names, which is why I spend years wishing I was called it. I just wondered if, because of its very prettiness, it might lead to incorrect assumptions on the part of other people.
As penance for causing possible offence, here is the recipe for the ratatouille, which I had promised but forgot to post:
This was a very plain, classic version. There are as many ratatouilles as there are cooks, so this is not definitive, just mine. I took: two courgettes, one fat aubergine, four cloves of garlic, and two red peppers. Purists would probably insist on onion; for some reason I avoided it. I cubed everything, and then gently fried it all for a few minutes in a big pan with a little olive oil. You need to move it all around with a wooden spoon, and keep the heat low, or the garlic will burn. Then I covered the lot with water, and simmered it very, very gently for forty minutes.
Keep an eye on it, because the water will reduce. Towards the end, you need to give it a stir, from time to time. What you are aiming for is a lovely mush.
Then, I put three big tomatoes in a deep bowl, covered them with boiling water, and left them for about five minutes. This is simply a way of getting the skins off. This is important, because if you chop and cook, little bits of tomato skin will curl up in the ratatouille and ruin the texture. So: slip off the skins, roughly chop, and add to the pan. Turn the heat to medium and cook, stirring gently, for a final five minutes.
To finish, I added a handful of torn basil, a pinch of dried chilli, and a dash of grassy extra virgin olive oil.
And that's it.
I did not take a picture. Here is a photograph of the dogs instead, because, as you may have guessed, I have come to the conclusion that one cannot ever have enough dog pictures.