Bogland Ratatouille

Ratatouille, chickpea burgers, grilled aubergines and baked potatoes with bocconcini mozzarella di bufala…

I can’t remember the last time we talked about water restrictions in Ireland; well apart from the obsolete and dilapidated water pipes exploding here and there, water shortages due to dry and prolonged weather conditions are not that usual. A more common affair now in Brittany, my homeland getting drier, often mocked once by the Parisian clique for its long and often tempestuous rain spells but yet, they never forgot to pack their cute yellow raincoats. Ok, about that, let me be clear here: unless you are on a fishing boat, we do not wear yellow raincoats. We wear Cotten salopettes with shell jackets on top ( I have the whole uniform, I just don’t get to wear it that often), they are yellow, on a boat only, not to go to the market and pretending to be a local, it’s like a big giveaway, don’t do that! I suppose we get the same here this time of year, Aran jumpers and Donegal tweed caps… Well maybe in the more touristy parts of the Island, here in the midlands, we do not see much of that, and yesterday, as I was admiring in dismay the queue for the car wash, I thought the message didn’t quite sink in… Boglanders, you gotta love them!

Curry Mountain – Westmeath

I got out of my usual aestival doldrums last Sunday, at times like this I really miss the ocean, my wound healer, my friend. How can I live on an Island and be so far away from you, how did I let this happen? The bog is beautiful at the moment, and it does fill one’s soul with a certain uplift; purple heather and yellow asphodels in full bloom, and the bog cotton looking mighty fine…

Heather and Asphodels – Lough Sheelin East
Bog Cotton sway

All this colours made me want to do one of my favourite summer dishes. Ratatouille! I made some chickpea “sliders” or small burgers, griddled aubergine slices and some boiled potatoes, then baked them with bocconcini mozarella di bufala cheese in the middle and this is how it went…

A few ingredients

Ratatouille, You’ll Need:

  • 1 organic red pepper
  • 2 medium organic courgettes
  • 2 small organic red onion
  • 2 organic cloves of garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh oregano
  • 75 cl of organic tomato passata
  • 1 glass of white wine

How to?

Very simple, chop the vegetables to your preferred size, not too small as you need a bit of texture there and fry them gently in olive oil with salt and pepper, pour the glass of wine, cover with passata and the same volume again of water, let it simmer and gently reduce… Now for the chickpea burgers…

Making chickpea burgers

You’ll Need:

  • 1 tin of organic chickpeas
  • 1 happy egg
  • 1 small organic red onion
  • 100 g of Killeen Cheese ( goat Gouda, four months old)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp of organic almond paste

Just blend all the ingredients together. When I make chickpea burgers, I sometimes egg wash and breadcrumb them, this time I wanted to have a bit of fun, so I put them in a buttered and floured baking tray…

Chickpea mini burgers

They turned out pretty well and I griddled a few slices of aubergine on each side, to go with, the burgers were still nice and moist. in the oven, 200 c for 15-20 minutes…

Chickpea burgers and griddled aubergine

Boil a few whole potatoes, you can actually do them first, cool them when cooked, and make an incision in the middle but don’t cut them in half. I placed them in an oven dish, with a bit of salt, black pepper and paprika. I stuffed them with bocconcini, these beautiful baby buffalo mozzarella, I really enjoy them at the moment!

Bocconcini Buffalo mozzarella
Baked potatoes with Buffalo mozzarella bocconcini…

Looking good when baked…


As the afternoon was closing on the hills of Sliabh na Cailleach, I thought Oldcastle was looking well, I couldn’t help remembering our summers by Mancell Bay in Séné, the whole family sitting over a big bowl of ratatouille and green beans, I am hoping that the wells won’t go dry and I thought that was an interesting version my parents would have been proud of!

The hills of Sliabh na Cailleach, Oldcastle, Co. Meath
Ratatouille and stuff

Keep Well and Eat Happy

Slán Tamall





12 thoughts on “Bogland Ratatouille

  1. Is it possible to fall in love with a plate of food that you haven’t eaten? Well clearly it is …. I am now swooning and obsessing about all that and will be forced to replicate as best I can as soon as possible to relief my achy itch because that’s what a fluttering heart weighted with ardor feels like, no? And you – you made me laugh about the Parisiens and their paraphernalia – reminds me of bollocksy buffoons in Barbour’s and special laced up leather boots with stupid hats in Cantal in Winter (hunting) and in equally unsuitable supposedly countrified clothing in summer. Soixante-quinze mutter the locals – you’ll understand why. Grenoble was less of an issue because – wall to wall foreigners and blow-ins from all over. Nurse your ocean-sick heart my friend. Mine is mountain sick over here ….

      1. I’m pleased that you feel that way – it’s what I intend, you being a special friend and all. Isn’t that odd …. I have always felt I knew you and yet I have never met you. 😊

  2. Before you posted this, did you have a goal in mind of making me drool all over my keyboard? If so, 5-stars, my friend. You already know this is my kind of eats. I want to pack all of this up and have a picnic amongst those wildflowers.

    1. Now I think about it, it is something I should have thought about 😀 Sorry for the keyboard! The marshy bog are amazing this time of year, a fragile garden rich in inspiration! Thanks for visiting my friend, and for making me smile and laugh in this already hot July morning! 😉

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