braised chilli and tomato eggplant

  • 1 eggplant (aubergine), sliced 1.5cm thick
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
  • 3 red capsicums (bell peppers)
  • 2 zucchini (courgette), sliced 1.5cm thick
  • ¼ cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 small bunch thyme
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 long red chilli
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 250g cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups (500ml) vegetable stock
  • 400g can diced tomatoes
  • ciabatta, to serve
  1. Place the eggplant and salt in a colander set over a large bowl. Toss to combine and set aside for 1 hour. Preheat grill (broiler) to 250°C (485°F) or high. Place the capsicums on an oven tray and cook, turning occasionally, for 12–15 minutes or until blistered and blackened. Place in a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 10 minutes. 
  2. Preheat oven to 240°C (475°F). Peel the capsicum skins, remove seeds and discard. Tear into large pieces and set aside. Brush any excess salt off the eggplant and pat dry with paper towel. Place the eggplant and zucchini on a large oven tray and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Cook for 18–20 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a large, shallow saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaves, chilli, salt and pepper, and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, for 12–15 minutes or until soft. Add the cherry tomatoes and tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add the stock and diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cook for 25–30 minutes or until reduced. Add the capsicum, eggplant and zucchini. Mix to combine. Sprinkle with pepper and serve with ciabatta.  Serves 4–6.
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