This traditional vegetable stew originated as a poor man’s dish in Nice. This version lightly caramelizes the onions and peppers before adding them to the rest of the dish, giving it a fantastic complex flavor without much additional effort.
Cooks note: Use any color bell peppers you prefer, from brown to green, and anything in between.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
- 2 1 lb. eggplants, cut into cubes
- 1 ¾ teaspoons plus ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 ½ lbs. peeled tomatoes or 1 28-oz can plus 1 14-oz can petite-diced tomatoes
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup loosely packed, chopped fresh basil
- ¾ cup loosely packed, chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 ½ lbs. white onions, thinly sliced
- 3 red or yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded, and chopped
- 2 lbs. zucchini, cut lengthwise and then into ½-inch slices
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
Place a single layer of paper towels on 2 large plates. Place the cubed eggplant onto the plates and sprinkle with 1 ¾ teaspoon salt. Allow the eggplant to sit for 20 minutes.
In a large saucepan, cook the tomatoes, garlic, black pepper, basil, and parsley, uncovered, over medium heat.
In a large skillet, sauté the onions and bell peppers in a small amount of olive oil over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are very lightly browned. Remove the skillet from the heat and transfer the browned vegetables to the tomato mixture.
Pat the eggplant dry with a fresh paper towel and add it, along with the zucchini to the tomato mixture. Cover the pot and cook the stew over low-medium heat for 45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the white wine and ¾ teaspoon salt and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
Makes 12 servings.