The French do take some dishes out of other countries dishes, but when they borrow they also change and adapt to their own taste, which is what they do with the ratatouille crumble. Parisiens follow fashion in food as in anything else and at the moment the two most popular dishes are ‘le trifle’ and ‘le crumble.’ This is a version of the crumble that I made up which I think mixes the best of that dish, which is something that gives you a lovely crispy topping and a fantastic classic French ratatouille. Ratatouille is a lovely sunny dish from the south of France which combines all those lovely Mediterranean vegetables.
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the onion and garlic and add the aubergine and the red and green peppers. When they have softened, add the courgettes, tomatoes and herbs, some salt and pepper, and cook for a further 10-15 minutes until cooked.
While the vegetables are cooking, preheat the oven to 180c/350f/gas mark 4 and prepare le crumble.
It’s a savoury crumble, so there’s no sugar in there, but we can add a bit of flavour with a little parmesan cheese. In a food-processor, or with your fingers, rub the butter into the flour and parmesan. When you have a mixture resembling breadcrumbs, mix in the toasted pine nuts and some pepper.
When the ratatouille is really nice and soft and cooked, put the cooked vegetables into a gratin dish, cover them with the crumble mixture and cook in the oven for about thirty minutes or until the top is golden and crispy. Serve hot or warm, with a crisp salad or as an accompaniment to roast lamb, chicken or fish.
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