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This is a flavorful melange of colorful mediterranean vegetables in a thick rich red tomato sauce. It is great as a meat-free main meal and works just as well as a side-dish with meat. It is cooked in one pot, can be served hot, warm or cold and is one of the few dishes that tastes even better when warmed up the following day. It is easy to cook, requiring no skills other than chopping and simple sautéing.

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  • 1 medium aubergine (eggplant)
  • 3 medium courgettes (zucchini)
  • 2 peppers (1 yellow, 1 orange looks good)
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 2-4 cloves garlic (to taste)
  • 1-2 cans chopped tomatoes
  • dried mixed herbs and/or fresh basil
  • olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

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Slice the aubergine into rounds, place the rounds in a colander, liberally sprinkle with salt, turn over and salt the other side and leave for an hour or more (this removes water from the aubergine so that it will absorb less oil when it cooks.)


1. Place a large deep-sided pan on a medium to high heat, and pour in a good splash of oil.

2. Top & tail the courgettes, slice lengthways into quarters and then diagonally slice them into pieces about an inch long and put in pan to color. As they cook, de-seed the peppers and roughly cut into bite-sized pieces. Keep stirring the courgettes until the white surfaces become a golden brown.

3. When courgettes are cooked, remove and place in a bowl lined with kitchen paper to soak off some of the oil. Add the peppers to the pan.

4. While peppers are cooking, rinse salt off the aubergine slices, squeeze out excess moisture, and cut the larger slices in four and the smaller slices in half. Keep stirring the peppers until they spot with color. Then, add them to the bowl.

5. Add the aubergine to the pan – you'll probably need to add some more olive oil. While the aubergine is cooking, peel the onions, slice and roughly cut into pieces. Keep stirring the aubergine pieces until they are golden brown on both sides, adding oil as necessary, then add to bowl.

6. Add chopped onions to pan. While they cook, peel and roughly chop the garlic. When the onions soften, make a space and add the garlic.

7. Quickly open the first can of tomatoes and as soon as the garlic starts to color, pour in the chopped tomatoes and stir briskly. The idea is to thicken the tomatoes, driving off some excess moisture. Break up the larger pieces as you stir so you get a thickish tomato sauce with onions.

8. Add the contents of the bowl – the courgettes, aubergine and peppers – into the pan and stir. Depending on consistency you may like to open the second can of tomatoes and add some more. Add ground pepper, mixed dried chopped herbs, or fresh basil.

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