This rustic French dish is traditionally a slow-cooked mixture of summer vegetables, but this modernized version uses a quick, high-heat stir-frying method to cook each vegetable until crisp-tender but not mushy. Start by cooking eggplant, then summer squash, and setting them aside. Next, cook onion, bell pepper, and garlic and stir in tomatoes just until they release their juices. Toss the eggplant and summer squash back into the pan and top with fresh basil. Serve this light and healthy sauté with hearty grilled tri-tip.
What to buy: We prefer smaller Japanese or Chinese eggplants for this recipe since they taste sweeter and have fewer seeds, but larger globe eggplants will work well too.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound eggplant, trimmed and cut into large dice
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound summer squash (zucchini, yellow, or a mixture of both), trimmed and cut into large dice
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut into large dice
- 1 medium yellow onion, large dice
- 4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3 medium tomatoes (about 12 ounces), cored and cut into large dice
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
1Heat a large frying pan over high heat until a bead of water dances when dropped in the pan, about 3 to 4 minutes.
2Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil around the perimeter of the pan, add the eggplant, and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally with a metal spatula, until crisp-tender and browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
3Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the oil around the perimeter of the pan, add the squash, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally with the spatula, until crisp-tender and browned in spots, about 2 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the eggplant and set aside.
4Reduce the heat to medium and add the last tablespoon of oil. Add the bell pepper and onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
5Add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re starting to soften and have released their juices, about 4 minutes.
6Add the reserved eggplant and squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the basil. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
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