Tchatchouka

1 to 1 1/2 pounds eggplant, firm and shiny
salt
1 to 1 1/2 pounds zucchini, firm and unblemished, cut in circles or chunks
olive oil
3 to 4 onions, thinly sliced
3 to 5 cloves garlic
1 1/2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, peeled and diced or one 28-ounce can peeled italian plum tomatoes, mashed in a bowl with a potato masher
small bunch parsley, finely minced (leaves only)
1 to 2 bay leaves
freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon allspice
a few pinches sugar (if necessary) to counteract acid in tomatoes

1. Peel eggplant if desired and slice into thin, bite-size pieces. Sprinkle with salt. Let stand 30 minutes. Rinse and pat very dry. 2. Meanwhile, stir-fry zucchini, onions, and garlic in olive oil in small batches.

3. Sauté dried eggplant in olive oil. Add to casserole. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place oven rack in middle of oven.

4. Add tomatoes, parsley, bay leaf, black pepper, basil, and oregano to casserole.

5. Gently sauté curry, cinnamon, and allspice in 1 to 2 tablespoons oil for 1 minute. Add to casserole. Add sugar if desired.

6. Bring Tchatchouka to a boil on top of stove. If mixture seems very dry, add a few spoonfuls of water. Cover casserole with foil.

7. Place casserole in oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir occasionally. Add water if necessary. Allow to cool, uncovered.



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