LAWRENCE MURPHY: A mid-week taste of the Med 

Sea bream with ratatouille
Sea bream with ratatouille

Sea bream with ratatouillie Serves 4   

There are many recipes for ratatouille, a French Provencal vegetable dish that is

supposed to originate in Nice. 

The main ingredients are aubergine, tomato, peppers and courgette.

It seemed to disappear from the culinary world after being over-produced at dinner parties in the 1980s but was rejuvenated after the comical Pixar film of the same name.

Some chefs will say that the vegetables need to be cooked slowly for a long time making the sauce rich and almost jammy and the vegetables soft.

Others prefer the method where the sauce is vibrant and the vegetables have texture and burst with summer flavours.

For me, both methods have their place but this recipe is quick and makes for an easy mid-week supPer and reminds me of eating in the Mediterranean.

Choose fleshy plum tomatoes as they break down quickly to make the sauce.

 Ingredients

4 fillets sea bream

1 onion finely diced

3 cloves garlic finely chopped

4 plum tomatoes chopped

1 small aubergine diced

125ml white wine

1 red pepper – torched and peeled and chopped

Small bunch thyme tied with string

1 bay leaf

Olive oil for cooking

Dessert spoon of balsamic

1 courgette diced

Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Method

1. Put a good amount of olive oil in a saucepan, heat to medium and add the aubergine.

2. Cook for four minutes and stir in the onion and garlic. Cook for another four minutes and add the thyme and bay leaf.

3. Add the tomatoes and the white wine and cook for five minutes.

4. Add the red pepper and the balsamic. The tomatoes should have broken down, if not add a splash of water.

5. When the tomatoes are broken down enough, pan-fry the fish in another pan and add the courgettes to the ratatouille. Cook for two minutes.

6. Remove bay and thyme, turn off the heat and add extra virgin olive oil.

7. Spoon into four bowls and top with the fish.