Adapted by Farmer Dave’ s from Epicurious.com
- Cooking spray
- 2 large eggplants, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 10 1/2 cups)
- 3 medium zucchini or yellow summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 6 1/2 cups)
- 3 tablespoons coarse salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 2 small to medium onions, halved and thinly sliced (about 3 1/2 cups)
- 2 sweet peppers, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 4 cups chopped tomatoes, juices reserved
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 10 grinds black pepper
- 1/2 cup packed freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1/4 pound)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
- Grease the slow cooker with cooking spray.
- Add eggplant and zucchini to the greased slow cooker. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a 10-inch, heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat. When warm, add the onions, bell peppers, and garlic and sauté until the vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker. Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. As soon as it melts, add the flour and tomato paste, and cook until the mixture is thickened and the flour disappears, about 1 minute. Increase the heat to medium high and add the tomatoes with their juices, thyme, and pepper. Cook, crushing the tomatoes a bit with a wooden spoon, until thickened and smooth, about 6 minutes. Mix with the vegetables in the slow cooker. Cover the slow cooker and cook on low until the vegetables are tender, 4 to 5 hours. Uncover and remove from the heat; immediately stir in the cheese and basil.
- Delicious served over pasta, cheesy grits or polenta.