Ratatouille rainbow

 Mandolines are fun

Mandolines are fun

A mandoline has been on my “list of kitchen equipment I need” for a while now, but I’ve never found a design that I liked, at a price that I thought reflected how much use and value I would get out of it.

I haven’t yet found the silver bullet, but a pared-back design and an affordable price led me to purchase one with a Kyocera ceramic blade (and I have a soft spot for Japanese goods). I wouldn't expect it to stand up to the rigours of a commercial kitchen, but it will do for now.

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I once spotted a gorgeous photo of an oven baked ratatouille with fine slivers of the vegetables arranged in multi-coloured arcs across the top. I scoured the internet for that photo and that recipe but couldn’t find it again. Wasting too much time on this fruitless search and not enough time on making dinner, I resorted to working from a hazy image in my mind. 

 Courgette and aubergine slices arranged over the top of the vegetable sauce base

Courgette and aubergine slices arranged over the top of the vegetable sauce base

Being somewhat deconstructed, I made the sauce separately. A whole bunch of other ingredients were sautéed together in a pan and simmered briefly and gently with a tin of tomatoes before being transferred into the base of a glazed pottery oven dish — one of my favourite souvenirs from our travels in provincial France. 

Thin slices of the vegetables were arranged over the top, covered with a baking-paper cartouche, and popped in the oven to cook slowly.

 Concentric circles of overlapping slices of courgette (zucchini) and aubergine (eggplant)

Concentric circles of overlapping slices of courgette (zucchini) and aubergine (eggplant)



My husband and I really enjoyed this oven-baked ratatouille, it had a depth of flavour and was visually appealing. After two or three offerings, our toddler agreed with us too. 

 Oven-baked ratatouille

Oven-baked ratatouille