Mediterranean Stew

10:11 pm on 13 March 2006

This simple dish offers a tasty change from the well-known ratatouille as it reeks of the essence of the Mediterranean. The addition of potatoes and olives make it quite substantial. Serve with rustic country style bread and a glass of Pinot Noir as a luncheon dish. It is also an excellent accompaniment for grilled steak and chicken.

(Serves 6)


  • 1 red onion
  • 3 red capsicums
  • 1 medium aubergine
  • 500g small waxy potatoes
  • 6 large ripe tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons stoned black olives
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • a handful of fresh basil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


First, prepare all the vegetables. Peel the onion, and chop finely into small dice. Remove the cores, membranes and seeds from the peppers and cut them into strips, lengthwise. Cut the stalk from the aubergine and chop the flesh, including the skin into large 5cm chunks. Peel the potatoes unless they are freshly dug, and cut roughly into 3cm dice. Pop the tomatoes into a large pan of boiling water for about 10 seconds to loosen the skins, peel and then cut into quarters and remove the seeds.

Put the olive oil into a deep heavy saucepan or wide frying pan, and add the onion and potatoes. Cook gently for about 15 minutes until they soften and turn slightly golden. Add the aubergine, peppers, tomatoes, olives, a few of the basil leaves and a little salt and pepper to taste and cook very gently, stirring carefully occasionally. (Covering with a lid will help to keep the stew moist.) This should take about 30 minutes for all the vegetables to cook and yet not ‘mush’ together.

Slice the remaining basil. To serve place a generous helping for each person in a bowl, and scatter with the fresh basil.

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