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 Garden-Fresh Ratatouille

With the bounty of vegetables that lines every farmers' market table this time of year, it's almost impossible not to take advantage of summer's produce. This ratatouille, created by VN columnist Jesse Miner, combines some of summer's freshest flavors. At first bite, it's very nearly like you've been transported to a petit chateau amidst sprawling fields of lavender (minus the whole actually getting to go to France part). Le sigh!

Serves 4

What You Need:

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium eggplant (3/4 pound), diced
1 medium zucchini, quartered and diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
6 tomatoes (2 pounds), diced
1 teaspoon fresh oregano, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, roughly chopped
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon capers, drained and roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, thinly sliced

What You Do:

1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the eggplant and cook for 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and bell pepper and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and cook for 5 more minutes. All vegetables should be tender.

2. Stir in the oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper, and cook for one additional minute. Remove from heat and add balsamic vinegar and capers. Garnish with basil and serve with Crispy Polenta Triangles.

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