Ratatouille Provençale

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1 large eggplant
1 large onion
4 tomatoes
3 medium zucchini
3 sweet peppers, sliced and peeled
persillade: 2 cloves garlic, minced
4 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

Prepare all the vegetables. Slice the eggplant into 1-inch slices; cover with salt to draw out the juices; wash completely in cold water; wipe dry and cut into 1-inch cubes. Cut the onion in half lengthwise; then cut into thin slices. Remove the stem end of the tomatoes and chop coarsely. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise, then cut into 1 inch half moons. Remove the stem of the sweet pepper; cut into quarters and remove seeds and cottony ribs. Cut into 1/2 inch strips; life the skin off with a paring knife. Mince the cloves of garlic and add to finely chopped parsley.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a large skillet, pour in enough olive oil to just cover the bottom. Be sure the oil is hot before adding the vegetables. Apart from the tomatoes, which should be added to the casserole uncooked, mix all the vegetables together and sauté in batches. Season each batch lightly with salt. Lightly brown the vegetables and transfer to an ovenproof casserole; add the tomatoes. Top the dish with the persillade. Bake in a preheated oven for at least 1 hour.

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