If I'm not writing or exercising then you'll most likely find me in the kitchen. I didn't start cooking properly until university and like most things, I've always had a make it up as I go along attitude. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn't.
Ratatouille is one of my favourite dishes. It's totally adaptable to include whatever vegetables you fancy. It's just as good cold in the summer as it is hot in the winter too. And just in case I haven't sold it well enough yet - it's also pretty cheap to make.
I make a wok-full and eat it with different meat and greens for three or four days or if you'e got company, it'll feed you and three friends.
Ingredients to serve four:
3 garlic gloves or two tablespoons of Lazy Garlic
4 large handfuls of finely chopped basil
1 red pepper
4 large tomatoes
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tin of kidney beans
4 salmon fillets
Olive Oil spray
Firstly, finely chop the garlic. Then chop the carrots, courgette, onion, tomatoes and pepper as small or as large as you desire. I like it chunky so I cut the carrots down the centre and then across into thick chunks. I do the same with the courgette too. The red pepper I cut into quarter and then quarter again. The tomatoes I cut in half as they dissolve easily and go very mushy if they are chopped any smaller.
Next, cut the lemon in half and squeeze it over the salmon fillets. Then season these with salt and pepper and set them aside.
Olive oil spray is fairly lazy but it's a very easy way to get an even and thin coating of olive oil so, sue me. Spray a large wok with oil and when it's hot add the garlic, stirring it while it fries for a minute.
Add in the carrots. Let these fry for 5 minutes, stirring once or twice a minute. Then add in the courgette, pepper, onions and two handfuls of basil. Fry these all together for another five minutes.
Finally add the tomatoes and kidney beans, followed by the tinned tomatoes and another handful of basil.
Stir in 150ml of water and reduce the heat to a minimum. Leave the ratatouille to reduce, stirring every few minutes. This will take roughly 15 minutes but can vary so it's best to keep an eye on it. The longer you can let the ratatouille rest the better. If you have time to cook it a few hours before you eat it, do. The vegetables soak in more flavour and it makes it that much more delicious. Plus it's quick and easy to reheat.
There are two obvious ways to cook salmon, it just comes down to personal preference. I like to cook my salmon how I would cook steak - flash frying it in a frying pan to give it that crispy finish.
Spray a frying pan with olive oil and when hot, stick in the salmon skin down. Leave this to fry for two minutes and then turn it over and fry it on the other side for two minutes. Repeat this twice or until the salmon is cooked to your liking.
Plate up the ratatouille and sprinkle over some basil. Serve the salmon on the veg, squeeze some of the remaining lemon over it and there you have it!