Crock-pot Ratatouille

This recipe from Rachel’s Mom is easy to prepare ahead.

1 large eggplant, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 onions, chopped
3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes or 1 large can (1lb, 12oz.) diced tomatoes
2 large bell peppers, cut into ¾ inch squares
3 medium zucchini cut into ¾ inch chunks
3 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
½ tsp salt
¼ to ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp dried parsley
2 tbsp dried basil
one 6-oz. can tomato paste
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
optional: 1 can pitted ripe olives, drained and chopped

Sprinkle cut eggplant with salt; let stand in a colander while you prepare the other vegetables. Then press out excess moisture and place in crock-pot. [this step is optional]

After chopping & cutting onions, tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, and garlic, add them to the crock-pot with olive oil, dried herbs, black pepper, & salt.

Mix Well.

Cover and cook on high heat about 3-4 hours or until vegetables are tender but still hold their shape. Do not remove lid during cooking.

Remove some of the liquid from the pot and mix with tomato paste; then return to pot with fresh herbs (and olives, if used) and stir well.

Serve hot, at room temperature, or chilled with crusty bread.