2 large red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
4 small zucchini, sliced
1 onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. tomatoes, chopped, OR 1 can (28 oz.) whole tomatoes, drained and chopped
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
Sprinkle eggplant lightly with salt and let drain in colander for 30 minutes. Pat dry.
In non-stick skillet heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add eggplant. Stir and cook until soft and browned, about 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer eggplant to bowl.
Add remaining oil to pan and heat until hot. Add red peppers, zucchini, onion and garlic. Cook vegetables, stirring, until tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Mix in tomatoes, basil and eggplant. Stirring occasionally, cook on low heat 15 to 20 minutes or until all vegetables are very tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Ratatouille, a specialty of the Provence region of France, is a popular and versatile dish that uses large amounts of produce. The tomatoes and eggplant create a juicy, stew-like sauce that accentuates the flavors of basil and garlic. Serve it hot as a side dish or over a grain for an entree. This version also tastes great when served cold.