Moroccan-Spiced Caponata and Basil Hero

For Caponata:
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 cup water
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1 medium zucchini, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
10 ounces Italian bread (about a 17- by 3 1/2-inch loaf)
1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, washed well and spun dry.

Make caponata: In a large heavy saucepan toast spices over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in eggplant, bell peppers, onion, garlic, water , lemon juice, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes, or until eggplant is almost tender. Stir in zucchini and simmer uncovered, until vegetables are tender and most liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Cool caponata slightly and transfer to a bowl. Chill caponata, covered, until cold, about 2 hours. Caponata may be made 3 days ahead and chilled, covered.

Halve bread horizontally with a serrated knife and make 1 large hero with caponata and basil. Cut hero into 4 pieces.

Makes 4 sandwiches.

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