2 medium or 4 small eggplants, cut into 1/2 inch pieces or sliced in 1/4-12 inch slices
1 T. kosher salt
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh basil
3 sprigs fresh parsley
4 plum tomatoes
4 T. olive oil, divided
2 medium yellow onions, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, cored and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1 red or orange bell pepper, cored and cut into 1/4 inch pieces
6 cloves garlic, firmly chopped
1 bay leaf
3 medium or 4 to 5 small zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 medium or 4 small summer squash cut into 1 inch pieces Extra-virgin olive oil, to finish
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste.
In a large bowl, toss the eggplant pieces with the kosher salt. Transfer the pieces to a colander set over a bowl or in the sink. Let drain for 30 minutes. Gently press the pieces with paper towels to absorb any remaining liquid. Set aside.
Meanwhile, bundle together the thyme, basil and parsley using kitchen twine to tie them together. Set aside.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water.
Whie the water heats, use a knife to cut very shallow crosses in the tops and bottoms of all tomatoes. The cuts should go only deep enough to break the skins of the tomatoes.
Use a slotted spoon to place the tomatoes in the boiling water. After 30 seconds, use the spoon to transfer the tomatoes to the ice water. Once the tomatoes are cool, the skins should peel off easily.
Cut each tomato in half, then use a spoon to scrape out and discard the seeds. Coursely chop the tomatoes, discarding any tough cores. Set aside.
In a large Dutch oven or large skillet over medium, heat 2 T. of the olive oil. Add the onions and both peppers, then saute until soft, about 7 minutes.
Add the garlic, and saute another 3 minutes. Add the bundle of fresh herbs, the bay leaf and chopped tomatoes. Cook until only until a little liquid remains, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
In a separate large skillet over medium, heat the remaining 2 T. of olive oil. Add the eggplants, zucchini, and squash, then saute until just tender, about 5 - 7 minutes.
Add the eggplant mixture to the onion mixture, then set the
dutch oven over medium- low and let cook for 1 hour.
Stir gently now and again to make sure the vegetables are not sticking.
Remove and discard the herb bundle and bay leaf. Drizzle with a few tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.