2 medium eggplants, cut into 1/4 inch rounds
2 medium zucchini, with top and bottom removed cut into bite-size pieces
2 sweet peppers, one red and one yellow, cored and cut into bite-size pieces
2 medium sweet onions, peeled with top and bottom removed and cut into bite-size pieces
2 large fresh whole ripe tomatoes (fresh tomatoes make a difference)
4 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
2 bay leaves
Thyme, sprig of
Basil, 2 stems
Olive oil, extra virgin, 1/4- 1/2 cup
Salt and pepper to taste

For this recipe, I like to cook ingredients separately so they maintain their integrity. It takes a little long but you get a much more attractive dish as a result. I also grill the eggplants (gas grill or top of range with no oil) until browned. Remove and cut each round into fourths and put in a bowl.

In a dutch oven or stock pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté zucchini until just tender and add to bowl. Continue with peppers and onions separately, each in 2 tablespoon of olive oil as needed. (I try to use as little oil as I can).

In another pot, boil water and blanch tomatoes until skin starts to peel away. Cool and remove skins. Chop tomatoes and put back into pot with the juice, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Cook about 5 minutes until most of liquid has evaporated.

Add all ingredients into stockpot and cook over low heat for up to 15 minutes until everything becomes incorporated, stirring to make sure it doesn’t stick. Do not overcook because the colors would become dull. Remove bay leaves and sprig of thyme before serving. Sprinkle with chopped basil and garnish with basil leaves. 

Can be made ahead and served hot or room temperature. Wonderful with salmon (Alaskan that is in season right now)! The combo is dramatically colorful as well as being healthy! Serves 8.