A simple and very delicious Catalan recipe, with almost the same ingredients as ratatouille, but a very different result.

2 medium aubergines
1 large mild onion
3 red peppers
olive oil
2 large ripe tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper

Slice the aubergines lengthwise (no more than 5mm thick). Sprinkle with salt and set aside to drain for half an hour; then rinse and dry in a cloth. Quarter the peppers and remove the seeds. Slice the onion thinly into rings. Peel the tomatoes and slice crossways somewhat more thickly (say 1 cm. max). Preheat the oven to 200C.

Now spread all the vegetables out in one layer on a large, solid baking tray (if the tray isn’t large enough you’ll have to cook them in batches). Add the two whole, unpeeled garlic cloves and season with salt and pepper, then sprinkle liberally with olive oil. Bake for about 35 minutes, until the vegetables are slightly charred. If you wish, you can then peel the peppers, but it isn’t really necessary. Scrape all the vegetables, with their syrupy juices, into an attractive shallow bowl, leave to cool, and if you have time chill in the fridge. Before serving drizzle over some more olive oil. Serve with good bread.

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