2 red onions
1 head of garlic
4 ripe tomatoes
2 red peppers
2 yellow peppers
extra virgin olive oil
Compot of mediterranean vegetables
A puzzling dish – it never tastes the same twice over.
You’ll need at least forty minutes to griddle the vegetables as they all have different cooking times. Once cooked, remove them from the griddle and place in a covered container to allow them to continue to steam in their own juices. Allow thirty minutes to peel and chop the cooked vegetables into a pulp.
I prefer to place all the vegetables on the griddle or barbecue but I admit that it does get a bit messy! Alternatively they can be baked in the oven but I still think the first method produces the most flavoursome results. If you have a really strong blender you can blitz all the discarded vegetable skins to create a ‘burnt vegetable skin’ paste which has a really interesting smokey flavour.
Place the vegetables on a heated griddle sprinkled with a little salt. The salt will help prevent the vegetables from sticking to the griddle. Try to ensure that each vegetable has direct contact with the griddle and turn them periodically to cook evenly.
The onions will take the longest time to cook and the tomatoes the least. The skin of the peppers needs to blister so that it peels way easily. The aubergines need to char and the garlic has to blacken.
When each vegetable is done remove from the griddle, place in a bowl and cover with a lid so that the vegetables continue to cook in their own steam.
Wait until they are all cooked and cool enough to handle. Remove the outer skin of the onions, open up the garlic and squeeze out the garlic pulp. Peel the tomatoes and peel the peppers, opening up the peppers to remove the seeds. Cut a slit in the bottom of the aubergines and gently squeeze out and discard any of the bitter liquid before peeling. Place all the vegetables on a large chopping board and with your largest knife or clever begin to mince them together breaking them down into a compôte. Place them in a bowl and season with salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil.
If you prefer, collect all the vegetable juice (except the bitter aubergine juice) and mix it in with the minced vegetables. Place everything in a saucepan and cook on a gentle heat, reducing the compôte right down until it is dense. Check the seasoning and serve.