Ratatouille Potato Salad

1 1/2 pounds (about 12) small red potatoes, scrubbed
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt
2 onions, sliced thin
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 zucchini (about 3/4 pound), cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 tomatoes (1 pound), cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon dried thyme
pinch of cayenne
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup chopped Kalamata olives
Parmesan cheese

In a large saucepan cook potatoes until they are tender, drain them, and let them cool until they can be handled.

In a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, salt and pepper. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil, whisking, and whisk dressing until it is emulsified. Quarter the potatoes and in a large bowl, toss them with the dressing and let them stand, covered, at room temperature.

In a colander toss the eggplant with the salt and let it drain for 30 minutes.

While the eggplant is draining, in a large deep skillet cook the onions and garlic in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until tender. Stir in the eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, tomatoes, thyme, cayenne, lemon juice, 3 tablespoons water, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook the ratatouille, covered partially, over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes or until the eggplant is very tender. Remove the skillet from the heat and let the ratatouille cool, uncovered, 15 minutes.

Add the ratatouille to the potatoes with the olives and salt and pepper to taste and toss the salad well. Serve salad with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.



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