Ratatouille in Japanese Eggplant Boats

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2 baby japanese eggplants, halved
1 zucchini squash, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, mashed
1 sprig fresh thyme
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
nicoise or black olives, chopped, for garnish
cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray eggplant halves with cooking oil and arrange cut side up on a cookie sheet or baking dish. Place in oven and roast until flesh is soft - about 15-20 minutes.

Remove eggplants from oven. When cool, scoop out flesh carefully. Reserve both the flesh and the hollowed-out shells.

Dice the cooked eggplant, then place in a sauté pan with the onions, garlic and olive oil. Cook over medium flame until the onion turns translucent, then, add the remaining vegetables one at a time in the following order: yellow pepper, red pepper, yellow squash, zucchini, tomatoes. Finish by adding the thyme, salt and pepper, and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

When ratatouille is finished, remove from heat. Mound in the hollowed out eggplant shells, and garnish with the chopped Nicoise or black olives and serve.

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