Ratatouille with Olives

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1/2 pound eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large red pepper, in 1/2-inch pieces
1 large green pepper, in 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium zucchini, in 1/2-inch chunks
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded and cubed
3/4 cup oil-cured olives, pitted and halved
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Place the eggplant in a colander and toss with the salt; let drain for 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.

2. Heat 1/4 cup of the oil in a skillet. Add the onions and sauté over moderate heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and red and green peppers, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Transfer to a large pot. Add more oil to the skillet. Add the zucchini and sauté until lightly colored, about 5 minutes. Add to the onion and pepper mixture.

3. Add remaining oil to the skillet. Add the eggplant and sauté until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Add eggplant and tomatoes to the other vegetables in pot. Place pot over moderate heat. Add olives, tarragon and pepper, cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes until vegetables are tender, stirring often. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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