Thursday, 12 September 2013

Get all your five-a-day in one dish!

By Harry Eastwood

This salad is a deconstructed version of ratatouille, which makes for a delicious, fresh and full-flavoured alternative to the traditional vegetable stew. It can be made ahead – and, in fact, tastes even better. It ticks plenty of health boxes as it’s high in fibre and low in calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar and salt. Most people can enjoy it, as it’s vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free. And the best thing about it? One serving counts as a full five portions of your five-a-day.

Ratatouille salad with anchovies and lemon

Serves 4

1 large aubergine, cut into small cubes
2 medium courgettes, topped, tailed and cut into very small cubes
4tbsp olive oil
1 large Spanish onion, peeled and finely diced
1 medium yellow pepper, cored and chopped into small cubes
1 medium orange pepper, cored and chopped into small cubes
2 garlic cloves, crushed to a paste
3 anchovies, very finely chopped
10 medium ripe tomatoes on the vine
Freshly squeezed juice of ½ lemon
Handful of basil leaves, torn from the stem

1. Heat a large frying pan until very hot.

2. Toss the aubergine and courgette cubes in the olive oil until evenly coated. Add them to the hot frying pan and cook over a high heat for 5 min, until the edges have turned a golden colour. You may find that you need to do this stage in two batches.

3. Tip the hot vegetables into a large bowl with the onion, peppers, garlic and anchovies. Season generously with pepper, then cover with clingfilm. Set aside for 10 min, while you prepare the tomatoes.

4. Chop the tomatoes in half and scoop out the seeds and centre with the help of a spoon. Finely chop the flesh, then add to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients.

5. Finally, squeeze the lemon juice over the salad. Set aside (wrapped in clingfilm) for 1 hr in the ambient temperature of your kitchen to let the flavours mingle and develop. Scatter the basil leaves over just before serving and add more pepper if needed. Serve with crusty bread, if you like.

I love the savoury flavour the anchovies bring, but you don’t have to add them – this ratatouille is delicious without. You could include pine nuts if you want the salad to be a little more hearty and reduced-fat feta or mozzarella chunks are lovely thrown in at the last minute, too.

Per serving: 210kcal, 6g protein, 12.8g fat, 2g saturates, 19.2g carbs, 17.1g sugar, 9g fibre, 0.3g salt, 77mg calcium, 2.7mg iron

Harry’s supporting our mission to Fight the Fads – Make Every Meal Healthier. To find out why she’s rallying against the fad diet industry, pick up our October issue.

For more substantial salad recipes, check out Harry Eastwood’s A Salad For All Seasons (Bantam Press, £20).

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