The Best Ratatouille

Yield: 9 servings
Source: Jane Brody's Good Food Book
Comments: A very good basic recipe. Ultra tasty and versatile!

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 pounds eggplant (if possible, use 2 small eggplants), unpeeled
Salt
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
2 large onions, thickly sliced
1 large green pepper, seeded and cut into 2-inch strips 1/4 inch thick
1 large sweet red pepper, seeded and cut into 2-inch strips 1/4 inch thick
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (3 large cloves)
2 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
1 1/2 pounds zucchini (small or seeded, if large), halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices)
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons minced fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt, if desired
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cut the eggplant into 3/4-inch cubes. Place the diced eggplant in a colander, sprinkle the eggplant well with salt, weight the pieces down with a plate or bowl, and let the eggplant drain for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large, heavy skillet or Dutch oven. Add the onions and green and red peppers, and sauté them until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and tomatoes. Cook the vegetables, stirring them, for about 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and wipe out the pan.
  3. Heat another tablespoon of oil in the pan, and sauté the zucchini for about 10 minutes. Add the zucchini to the other vegetables in the bowl, leaving behind as much oil as possible.
  4. Rinse, drain, and dry the diced eggplant with paper towels. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan, and sauté the eggplant for about 10 minutes.
  5. Return the reserved vegetables to the pan, and mix them well with the eggplant. Heat the ratatouille, and cook it for about 5 minutes. Stir in the thyme, oregano, basil, pepper, salt, cayenne and parsley.

NUTRITIONAL INFO:

Healthy Units: 1.5 per 1 cup serving (calculated by hand)

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