From the title, you might think that the basil drizzle is an afterthought, but it is what makes this dinner special, so don’t miss it out, even if you don’t normally eat raw garlic on a school night. The recipe will make a disproportionate amount of ratatouille, but it’s so handy to freeze or chill to use with couscous, pasta or rice. Enough preamble, here we go.
Fry 2 onions and one clove of garlic in a lot of olive oil (about 4 tablespoons). Once soft, add a sliced aubergine, letting each slice absorb the oil and colour a little before turning over. Now add 2 sliced red peppers, a teaspoon of sugar, a teaspoon of salt, some black pepper and a teaspoon of dried basil. Stir a couple of times, then add 2 tins of chopped tomatoes. Pop on a lid, then simmer for half an hour.
Take a good handful of basil leaves (20 – 30 of them, probably) and put them into your mini-processor with half a clove of garlic, a pinch of salt, 4 dessertspoons of balsamic vinegar and 5 dessertspoons of olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Sprinkle your sea bass fillets on both sides with salt and pepper, then fry in some hot olive oil for three minutes each side. Do the skin side first. Drizzle the basil vinaigrette sparingly over the fish and the ratatouille.