Ratatouille. Photo: Marina Oliphant

A classic French dish, this can be enjoyed as a meal in itself, or accompany anything from fish to chicken, sausages or grilled meats. The addition of fresh herbs and lemon juice balances the richness of the stew.


1 large eggplant

1 brown onion

1 yellow capsicum

1 orange capsicum

2 small zucchini

2 ripe tomatoes

150ml olive oil, plus extra if needed

4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

4 sprigs thyme

Handful pitted black olives

6 anchovies (optional)

1/4 cup baby capers

1 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, roughly torn

Lemon zest and squeeze lemon juice


Chop all the vegetables into similar-sized cubes, about one to two centimetres. Heat oil in a large heavy-based frypan and cook eggplant in batches until golden. The eggplant will absorb quite a lot of oil, so you may need to add a little more, depending on the size of the eggplant.

Add a little water as you go to reduce the amount of oil required. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Add onion and capsicum to pan and cook until softened. Add zucchini, garlic and thyme and continue to cook for a few minutes. Add olives, anchovies, capers, tomatoes and cooked eggplant and heat through. Finish off with fresh herbs, lemon zest and a squeeze of lemon juice. Serve immediately.