Bell Pepper Casserole

From Star Tribune September 6, 2012

2 large bell peppers (any color or mixed)
2 medium zucchini, about 1 lb.
1 small eggplant, about 1/2 lb.
4 tbsp. olive or grapeseed oil, or more if needed
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
2 or 3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/4 c. freshly chopped basil, cilantro or parsley
1/2 tsp. salt or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
2 or 3 large ripe tomatoes, cut into quarters

Rinse and dry the peppers. Remove and discard core and seeds and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch strips. Rinse, scrub and drain zucchini and eggplant. Cut away any blemishes.

Cut the zucchini crosswise into about 1/4 -inch thick slices, and the eggplant lengthwise into 2- or 3-inch strips, about 1/2-inch wide. Dab the cut vegetables with several layers of paper toweling to sop up moisture.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and eggplant and sauté, turning frequently and adding a little more oil if needed, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the vegetables are opaque in color and softened. Remove the cooked vegetables from the pan, place in a bowl, and sprinkle with salt.

If needed, add a little more oil to the pan. Reduce heat to medium low. Add bell peppers, garlic, onion, basil (or cilantro or parsley), and sauté, stirring, for about 7 minutes or until the peppers are tender.

Push the vegetables to one side of the pan, add the tomatoes and cook for 3 or 4 minutes, or until the tomatoes soften. Return the eggplant and zucchini to the pan, sprinkle in the remaining salt and black pepper, mixing well but gently.

Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan or pot, and cook the vegetables for about 20 minutes, turning over with a spatula several times. Serve hot or at room temperature.


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