Its not quite time for lazy picnics in the park! But our farmers markets are piled high with seasonal produce and it's the best time to eat a little healthier too. Why not bring the flavours of the Mediterranean to your plate with this wonderful French Provençal vegetable dish, it’s a perfect vegan supper served with a hunk of bread or steamed rice…
Makes 2 generous portions - You will need:
1 red onion
2 cloves of garlic
1½ red or yellow peppers
3 ripe tomatoes
½ a bunch of fresh basil (15g)
Sprigs of fresh thyme
200g quality tinned plum tomatoes
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
½ a lemon
Get all your lovely veg’ prepped: peel and cut the onions into wedges, deseed the peppers and chop into 2.5cm chunks, trim the tomatoes, aubergines and courgettes and roughly chop. Peel and finely slice the garlic, pick the basil leaves and set aside, then finely slice the stalks.
Heat a little oil in a large saucepan or casserole over a medium heat, add the chopped aubergines, courgettes, peppers and fry until golden and softened but not cooked through (about 5 minutes). Spoon the cooked veg into a large bowl.
Add to the pan your onion, garlic, basil stalks and thyme leaves with another drizzle of oil if needed. Fry for 10 to 15 minutes, or until softened and golden.
Return all the cooked vegetables to the pan and stir in the fresh and tinned tomatoes, the balsamic vinegar and some good grinds of sea salt and black pepper.
Break up the tomatoes by mixing well with the back of a spoon. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 30 to 35 minutes, or until reduced, sticky and sweet.
Tear in the basil leaves, finely grate in the lemon zest, taste and adjust the seasoning.
Enjoy the flavours of summer