2 lbs young, firm eggplants
- 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.