by John Ryan
The chopping only takes a little attention, ideal for conversation. Once all the vegetable prep is out the way, the actual cooking takes 15 or 20 minutes of less-than-total-concentration. This recipe makes a big batch because it is also good chilled.
1 pound zucchini
1 pound eggplant
2 bell peppers (red or green or one of each)
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
Olive oil (approximately 6 tablespoons)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 can (15-ounce) diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Salt and pepper
1. Prep the vegetables: Cut the zucchini and eggplant into sticks (roughly 1-1/2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide). Cut the bell peppers into strips about the same size. Dice the onion into 1/2-inch pieces. Mince the garlic.
2. In a big pot, use high heat and 3 or 4 tablespoons olive oil to brown the eggplant and zucchini. You may need to do this in a couple batches. When the vegetables are browned, set them aside.
3. Lower the heat to medium, add a bit more oil and cook the onion and peppers until they are soft. Don't try to brown them.
4. When they are soft, add the garlic and herbs. Let them stew for a minute or two until they are fragrant, then add the tomatoes and tomato paste. Add a little salt and pepper, then stir in the zucchini and eggplant. Simmer on low heat, uncovered, without stirring for 20 minutes. Season again with salt and pepper and serve.
Both chef and musician, John Ryan wrote the Just Good Food blog from 1996 through 2001.
This page created September 2000
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