© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <email@example.com>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA
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This vegetable-laden stew makes a delicious dinner with crusty bread. When reduced just a bit, it could also make a hearty pasta sauce.
½ pound. eggplant, unpeeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoons good, fruity extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
5 large cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
a large handful of fresh basil, stems removed, chopped
1 pound. ripe plum tomatoes, passed through a manual food mill, or peeled and chopped finely in the food processor (or use a 14-ounce. can Italian plum tomatoes, drained and processed)
¾ pound. new potatoes, or any waxy potato, scrubbed and cut into 1 by 2-inch pieces
½ pound. zucchini, cut into ½-inch rounds
1 large or 2 small sweet red or yellow peppers, seeded and cut into 1 by 2-inch strips
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
Toss the eggplant cubes in a colander with 2 teaspoons salt. Let it sit in the sink until it starts to sweat out the bitter juices. Rinse them, drain, them and pat dry, squeezing a little.
In a large pot, heat the oil. Add the onion, garlic, and celery. Stir-cook over high heat for about 5 minutes, adding a little water as necessary to prevent sticking and burning. Add the basil and stir-cook for a minutes, then add the tomatoes. When it comes to a simmer, add the eggplant, potatoes and ½ teaspoon salt. Stir, bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Add the zucchini and peppers and simmer 15 minutes more, or until all of the vegetables are tender.
Taste for salt and pepper, transfer to a warm serving bowl, and allow to stand 15 minutes before serving.
Use Yukon Gold potatoes instead of the waxy potatoes.
Instead of zucchini, you can use any summer squash, or try using cauliflower.