This Provencal Vegetable Mélange can be served alone, warm or chilled, or over hot pasta. Vary your herbs as you like and have available. Tastes even better the next day.
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium eggplant, about 1-1.5 lb., peeled and cut into 1” cubes
2-3 small zucchini, cut into 1” cubes
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium-large onion, cut into medium-sized chunks
2 red peppers, or one red & one green, or two green, cut into 1” cubes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 cups tomato concasse – peeled, seeded, cored & chopped plum tomatoes
Salt, freshly ground black pepper
Herbs de Provence, or dried oregano
Fresh Basil, ¼ -1/2 cup torn pieces
1. Heat ¼ cup olive oil in large, heavy Dutch Oven or skillet. Over medium-high heat, sauté the eggplant cubes until golden, stirring often. Season with 1 teaspoon of Herbs de Provence, salt and pepper. After 10 minutes, add the cubes zucchini and continue to cook for another 5 or so minutes. Do not overcook the zucchini. Remove the vegetables to a bowl.
2. Add the 2 T. olive oil to the pot, and cook the onions over medium-high heat. Add another teaspoon of Herbs de Provence to the onions. Cook until the onions are softened, but not brown, about 10 minutes. Add the chopped peppers and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook another 5-10 minutes, then add the chopped tomatoes and ¼ cups torn fresh basil. Reduce heat to low and cook another 5 minutes.
3. Add the eggplant and zucchini to the onion mixture, and cook until everything is tender, but do not overcook the zucchini, approximately 10-15 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining basil, if desired.
Optional – add ½-1 teaspoon red pepper flakes to the onions in step 2.