Garden Ratatouille

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 small eggplants
1 large red bell pepper, deseeded, cut in one-inch squares
1 large green bell pepper, deseeded, cut in one-inch squares
1 handful green beans, ends snapped, cut in half and steamed for 3 minutes
8 ounce package mushrooms, sliced thickly or quartered
4 large ripe tomatoes, skin removed (see note), cut in cubes
2 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
handful of fresh basil leaves, torn in pieces

Cut eggplants lengthwise in half, cut each half lengthwise in strips, then cut strips crosswise in one-inch cubes. To skin tomatoes, make a shallow X-shaped cut in each tomato, drop tomatoes in a pot of boiling water and let sit for 30 seconds, immediately remove with a slotted spoon and drop tomatoes in a bowl of ice water. Let sit for a few minutes. The skins should have started coming loose so you can peel them right off.

In a wok or other large, deep frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, lower heat, and sauté onion a few minutes until translucent. Add eggplant, bell pepper and green beans and continue to sauté for another five minutes. Add mushrooms, tomatoes and garlic and sauté a further five minutes until the vegetables are tender but not mushy. The vegetables should have released their juices so that you have at least some broth. Towards the end stir in the dried herbs, salt and pepper and garnish with the torn basil leaves. Serve immediately.

Delicious served over creamy mashed potatoes or polenta.



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