Courtesy of  Jennifer Tidwell of Jenuine Cuisines

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil divided
1 onion peeled, halved and sliced along the lines
1 medium eggplant cut into 1″ cubes
1 large red bell pepper stemmed and chopped in 1″ chunks
1 large zucchini cut into 1″ pieces
1 large yellow squash cut into 1″ pieces
4 cloves garlic minced
14 ounces low sodium diced tomatoes with liquid
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1 large sprig fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
1/2 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or to taste
1 tablespoon capers rinsed (optional)
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil


Take the cut eggplant and salt generously in a colander and let sit for at least 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, pat the eggplant dry.

In a large pot, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add 2 more tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and add the eggplant.  Sauté for about 5 minutes until the eggplant has softened.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and add the peppers and squash. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until slightly softened, then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.

Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, bay leaf, thyme and rosemary, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are the desired level of doneness. Cover pot for the first 10 minutes to allow the vegetables to steam, then remove the lid for the remaining cooking time to allow the liquid to evaporate.

Remove from heat and stir in the capers, chopped basil and adjust the seasoning if necessary.  Enjoy!

Pro tip: Prep the vegetables up to 1 day in advance to make this recipe even easier, or prep the entire dish ahead for meal prep lunches or dinner.
2 large fresh tomatoes may be used in place of the canned tomatoes if desired.
While you can certainly use dried thyme and rosemary, fresh herbs really make a difference in this recipe.
Leftovers will keep for about 5 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge and also freezes well.
Serve with crusty bread, over pasta or your favorite grains, as well as chicken or fish.