Ratatouille (version V)

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1 medium eggplant
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 teaspoon crumbled basil
1/4 teaspoon salt, optional
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
cooked rice

Cut off stem and blossom ends of eggplant. Place whole eggplant on a plate and microwave, uncovered, on High 7 to 10 minutes; set aside until cool enough to handle.
In a 2-quart casserole or large measuring cup or serving bowl combine garlic, onion, green pepper, basil, salt, pepper, and olive oil; microwave, uncovered, on High 3 minutes. Mix in tomato sauce, olives, and Parmesan cheese. Peel cooked eggplant and cut into 1-inch cubes; add to sauce mixture. Microwave, uncovered, on High 2 to 3 minutes. Serve as a vegetable main dish with rice.

Note: If you wish, cooked eggplant can also be mashed and stirred into sauce to serve as an appetizer with crackers. For Ratatouille Stuffed Mushrooms, fill mushroom caps with the mixture; for 6 to 8 mushrooms, microwave, uncovered, on High 4 to 4 minutes.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

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