Ratatouille (version IX)

1 pound eggplant
1 pound zucchini
1 teaspoon Salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced yellow onions
1 cup sliced green bell peppers
2 to 3 tablespoons more olive oil if necessary
2 cloves mashed garlic
salt and pepper
1 pound firm ripe red tomatoes, peeled, seeded, juiced to make 1 1/2 cups pulp
3 tablespoons minced parsley

Peel the eggplant and cut into lengthwise slices, about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide.

Scrub zucchini, slice off the two ends, and cut the zucchini into slices the same size as the eggplant.

Place vegetables in a bowl and toss with salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Drain. Dry each slice in a towel.

One layer at a time, sauté the eggplant in a 12-inch skillet and then the zucchini in hot olive oil, for about a minute on each side. Remove and place in a side dish.

In the same skillet cook the onions and peppers slowly in olive oil for about 10 minutes, or until tender but not browned. Stir in garlic and season to taste.

Slice tomato pulp into thin strips. Lay them over the onions and peppers. Season with salt and pepper.

Cover skillet and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, or until tomatoes have begun to render their juice.

Uncover, baste the tomatoes with their juices, raise heat and boil for several minutes, until juice has almost entirely evaporated.

Place a third of the tomato mixture in the bottom of a large fireproof casserole dish and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of parsley.

Arrange half the eggplant and zucchini on top, then half the remaining tomatoes and parsley. Put in the rest of the eggplant and zucchini, and finish with the remaining tomatoes and parsley.

Cover the casserole and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.

Uncover, tip casserole and baste with the rendered juices. Correct seasoning, if necessary.
Raise heat slightly and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes more, basting several times, until juices have evaporated leaving a spoonful or two of flavoured olive oil. Be careful of your heat. Do not let the vegetables scorch in the bottom of the casserole.



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