Monday, September 14, 2009


This recipe is from The New Vegetarian Epicure, by Anna Thomas. It makes a lot, but it's so heavenly that I wouldn't cut it in half! And while it isn't the most attractive dish in terms of color or firm texture, it is seriously one of the best things I've ever eaten. It makes me want to move to Provence right this second.

2 lbs young, firm eggplants

salt to taste

2 lbs zucchini

6 cloves garlic, chopped

3 large onions, cut in 1/2 inch pieces

1.5 lbs red and green peppers, seeded and cut in 1/2 inch dice

2 c. Summer Tomato Sauce (recipe follows)

2 T. olive oil

handful chopped fresh parsley

handful chopped fresh basil

1 T. balasamic vinegar

fresh-ground black pepper to taste

3 large, red tomatoes, cut in 1-inch pieces

  • Peel the eggplants and cut them in 1/2 inch dice. Toss the cut eggplants with a generous amount of salt and drain in colander for at least 45 minutes. Trim the zucchini and cut into similar-sized pieces, toss with salt, and put in another colander to drain.

  • While the eggplant and squash drain, prep the other vegetables and/or sauce.

  • Heat the olive oil in a large stew or stock pot. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the chopped onion and a dash of salt, then cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and just beginning to color.

  • Rinse the eggplant and swuash in cold water, pressing gently against the colander to squeeze out excess moisture. Add the eggplant and zucchini to the onions with a scant teaspoon of salt and saute, stirring frequently, for 6-7 minutes. Stir in the peppers and tomato sauce, cover, reduce the flame, and simmer for about 20 minutes.

  • Uncover the pan and stir. If it looks too soup, simmer uncovered, stirring often, until it is a thick stew. Add the chopped herbs, the balsamic, more salt if needed, and a generous grating of black pepper. Stir in the cut-up tomatoes and simmer for 2 minutes to heat through.

**I use about 1 lb peppers, no parsley, and extra basil. I also like to serve this with crumbled feta, dark purple grape juice, and lots of good-quality French bread.**

Summer Tomato Sauce

3 lbs ripe tomatoes
1 T. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. finely chopped fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Blanch tomatoes in boiling water for 1 minute to loosen skins. Remove skins, cut out cores, and process to a rough texture in a blender.

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and add the garlic. Saute for a minute, then pour in tomatoes. Add basil and a little salt and pepper, then cook on medium flame for about half an hour, or until reduced by about a third (I cook it longer so it's a really thick and pungent sauce).

Use at once or keep in the 'fridge for several days.