This was a recipe I made a couple of Saturdays ago, conjured up at the last minute based on ingredients I happened to have in the cupboard and fridge (a typical ‘Cheap, Fresh and Easy’ approach). I usually plan for the week’s meals in advance and shop accordingly, as it’s cheaper that way. But lately I’ve got fed up with the big weekly shop (I’m feeling lazy in these increasingly dark autumn days) and instead have tried to finish up what I have in stock, with occasional trips to the local Co-op.
The basis for this recipe is ratatouille, a favourite dish of mine – I’ve posted the recipe before, so use that as the starting point.
After cooking the ratatouille in an oven proof casserole on the hob, I added a tin of haricot beans and then put the casserole in a pre-heated (180C) oven for 10 minutes before adding a few slices of halloumi and a scattering of fresh basil leaves. I baked the casserole for another 10 minutes until the cheese was melted.
This would be good with mozzarella instead of halloumi – probably better. I just happened to have halloumi I needed to use up.
Use vegan cheese for a vegan version.
It’s a really filling recipe – I didn’t need anything else except a green salad with homemade vinaigrette dressing. I made the dressing with one teaspoon of Dijon mustard, three dessert spoons of extra virgin olive oil and one dessert spoon of wine vinegar, seasoned with salt and pepper and shaken in an empty mustard jar (or you could stir it well). I used half of the dressing for this meal, leaving the rest for the next day’s salad. I eat a leafy green salad most days.
This recipe is enough for about two people to have big portions and seconds and probably thirds. I ended up freezing several portions for another time.
This isn’t the most photogenic of dishes but like some of the best peasant food, it’s tasty, comforting and made simply with affordable, basic ingredients.
Cook on the hob first before cooking in the oven for 10 minutes. Add the cheese and basil and cook for another
10 minutes in the oven, or until the cheese is melted.
Do you have a cheap, fresh and easy recipe I can try? Let me know and I’ll feature it on the site and link back to you.