This vegetable stew can be eaten on its own; served with meat, fish, or eggs; or tossed with pasta.
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large eggplants, (2 pounds), peeled in strips and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 4 to 5 medium zucchini, (2 pounds), cut into 1-inch cubes
- Coarse salt and ground pepper
- 3 yellow or red bell peppers, ribs and seeds removed, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
In a Dutch oven (or other heavy 5-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid), heat oil over medium heat. Cook onions, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in eggplant and zucchini; season generously with salt and pepper.
Add 3/4 cup water; cover, and simmer until vegetables are beginning to soften, stirring once, about 5 minutes. Stir in bell peppers; simmer, covered, until softened, 5 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes and thyme; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Partially cover; simmer, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat. If serving immediately, stir in basil. (If freezing, leave out basil.)