Fasting is so much easier in the warmer months with an abundance of fresh produce available. I’ve always loved ratatouille a traditional French Provencal dish bursting with the fresh summer flavours of eggplant, zucchini, capsicum, onions and tomatoes. Light and delicious it lends itself beautifully to a 5-2 fast day recipe idea.
Today’s offering is an oven roasted ratatouille served with pork sirloin steak. Ratatouille works well with any white meat, and is equally delicious served on its own. On feast days I like to serve it bruschetta style on thick toasted, garlic rubbed sourdough bread with a little buffalo mozzarella and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
A very versatile recipe, the ratatouille can be prepared well ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to roast the pork sirloin steaks. I like to roast the eggplant, capsicum and garlic whole in the oven. Not just for the intensity of flavour but to help achieve a soft, silky texture without the need for copious quantities of olive oil. The ratatouille on its own accounts for just 140 calories for a very generous serve. Teamed with the lean pork sirloin steak it creates a very satisfying fast day meal for just 332 calories.
Roasted Pork Sirloin Steak With Ratatouille.
Serves 4 ( 332 calories per serve; pork sirloin steak 192 calories and ratatouille 140 calories per serve)
4 x 150g pork sirloin steaks, lean and boneless (768 calories)
2 medium eggplant (120 calories)
2 medium red capsicums (60 calories)
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled (16 calories)
1 tablespoon olive oil (120 calories)
2 anchovy fillets (16 calories)
1 heaped tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (3 calories)
2 red onions, peeled and finely sliced into half moons (60 calories)
4 medium (3 cups) green zucchini, sliced on the diagonal into 2cm pieces (60 calories)
1/3 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped, reserve a little for garnish (10 calories)
1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes (1 calorie)
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar (20 calories)
1 teaspoon brown sugar, to balance the acidity (17 calories)
1 punnet (250g) cherry tomatoes (54 calories)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Roast the Eggplant, Capsicum and Garlic
PREHEAT oven to 200C and line an oven tray with baking paper.
PLACE whole eggplant, capsicum and garlic onto the tray and bake for 30-35 minutes until vegetables are soft and skin blistered.
When cool enough to handle:
SLIT open each eggplant and scoop out the soft flesh, dividing it with your hands into long thin strips. Set aside in a clean bowl.
SLICE open each capsicum and remove the seeds. Peel away the blistered skin and slice the soft flesh into thick strips. Add to the eggplant.
SQUEEZE the soft garlic out of its casing over the eggplant and capsicum mixture. Stir to combine and set aside.
Prepare the Cherry Tomatoes
PLACE tomatoes into a small heatproof bowl. Pour over boiling water and blanch for 2-3 minutes until skin begins to soften.
EASE tomatoes out of their skins into a small bowl. Set aside.
Prepare the Ratatouille Sauce
POUR olive oil into a large heavy based oven-proof pan. When the oil is hot melt the anchovy fillets for a few minutes until they disappear into the oil.
ADD the onion, chilli flakes and oregano. Fry for about ten minutes on low heat until soft and golden, stirring often to avoid burning.
ADD parsley and zucchini. Sauté for another ten minutes until zucchini is just beginning to soften.
ADD the roasted eggplant, capsicum and garlic. Stir well to combine.
MIX together the sugar and vinegar. Pour over the vegetable mixture and cook for another minute or so until evaporated. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
ADD cherry tomatoes to the pan and set aside until ready to roast the pork sirloin steaks.
Roasting the Pork Sirloin Steaks With Ratatouille
PREHEAT oven to 180C.
SEASON the pork sirloin steaks with sea salt and pepper.
ADD to the casserole dish containing the ratatouille, ensuring the steaks are partially covered by the sauce.
ROAST for 20 – 25 minutes or until pork is cooked, turning once during roasting. Scatter with chopped parsley. Serve immediately at the table.