Ratatouille (pronounced rhuh-tuh-too-ee) is the quintessential southern French late summer vegetable stew. It uses all the vegetables that one hopefully has a glut of by the end of August – aubergines (eggplant), zucchini (courgettes), onions, sweet peppers (capsicum) and tomatoes (pronounced tom-AH-tohz, I think you'll find...) and seasoned with garlic and basil. Simon eats almost nothing else when he is on his own in September.
There are lots of fussy recipes which instruct you to cook all of the vegetables separately and only mingle them at the end. Who can be bothered washing up 4 saucepans instead of just one, for goodness sake! The trick is to cut the vegetables into big chunks eg the aubergines should be quartered lengthwise and cut into 2 cm slices crosswise; the peppers into 4-5 cm squares; the zucchini into 3 cm crosswise slices. That way they will all retain their individuality and not turn into pulp.