Eggplant Mykonos

2 medium onions (about 2 cups), chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large eggplant (6 cups cubed)
1 large red or green bell pepper
3 cups undrained canned tomatoes (28-ounce can)
1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice or water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground fennel
2 tablespoons fresh dill (2 teaspoons dried), chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups fresh spinach packed (about 1/2 pound), chopped rinsed
salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 cup feta cheese (optional), grated

In a nonreactive stewpot, sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil until translucent. Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes and add them to the pot. Slice the pepper into 1-inch-square pieces. Crush the tomatoes. Add the peppers, tomatoes, apple juice or water, salt and fennel to the pot. If using dried dill, add it now. Cover the pot and simmer, stirring frequently, until the eggplant is completely tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the fresh dill, if used, and ad the lemon juice and spinach. Simmer for another minute or two until the spinach wilts but is still bright green. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve topped with grated feta cheese, if desired.

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