I once told my mom that she only made two vegetable dishes: stir fry and ratatouille. And the only difference between the two was that the ratatouille had tomatoes. My mom didn't find this funny.
And of course, I've inherited a lot of my mother's cooking style. She may have been right about this one. (Don't tell her I said that though.) This family recipe is another one of those 'throw a bunch of things in a pot and let it cook' types. The beauty of this Mediterranean peasant dish is that all of the ingredients grow at the same time. All of the vegetables in this dish can be found in my parents' garden (probably why it showed up so often). As an apartment dweller, I don't yet have a garden, but I found all of these vegetables at my farmers market (and I snagged the rosemary from a bush outside the museum. Shhh!)
1 onion, chopped
1 medium eggplant, chopped
3 summer squash, a mixture of zucchini and yellow squash, sliced into rounds
2 tomatoes, chopped
6 mini or 2 medium bell peppers, assorted colors, chopped
2-4 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 cup olive oil
rosemary (and/or oregano, thyme, marjoram, chervil, or basil)
Combine all the ingredients in the largest pot or sauce pan that you have. Simmer uncovered (don't brown) on medium low for 45 minutes to an hour, until everything is soft. Stir occasionally. The eggplant will be the last to soften. By the time the eggplant is ready, the tomatoes and the onions will have almost disintegrated.
That's it! Use what vegetables you have on hand. My mom sometimes adds mushrooms.
Other eggplant recipes