Well, summer has already come and gone in Manchester and we are yet again being soaked in rain. It’s still warm though, so while it’s not salad weather, nor do I want to eat anything too heavy. This recipe is the perfect balance as it’s choc full of summer vegetables, but is also a substantial hot meal.
I really enjoyed this and of course, you can fill this with vegetables of your choice if you’re not keen on any from this recipe – or just use up any leftover veg that you have in the fridge. I would also not go to the expense of buying gruyere especially for this dish. Though it was lovely, cheddar would be just as nice and is much cheaper.
Heat the oil in a shallow flameproof casserole dish or pan. Add the onions and cook for 2 mins, then tip in the garlic, peppers, courgettes and aubergine. Cook over a medium heat for 10 mins (adding a splash of water if the dish looks dry), until the vegetables are soft.
Stir in the tomatoes and 4 tbsp water. Season well. Cover and leave to bubble gently for 15 mins. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
Meanwhile, tip the potato slices into a bowl. Season with salt, pepper and the nutmeg, then pour over the cream. Toss everything to coat. Remove the casserole dish from the heat and stir in the basil. Lay the potato slices on top of the ratatouille, creating a spiral pattern, then pour over any remaining cream. Place in the oven, uncovered, for 40 mins.
Remove from the oven and increase heat to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Scatter over the cheese and bake for a further 20 mins until golden and bubbling. Serve with salad, if you like.