Photo: Caitlin Bensel
Yield
Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 3/4 cups)

Instead of a sauce or side, we serve this Provençal dish as it was originally intended—a simple, humble stew. It’s a great way to use up a bundle of peak summer produce. You can also double the stew and refrigerate up to 1 week ahead, then serve as is, spooned over polenta, or with baked chicken or fish. You want a hearty stew consistency rather than a soup here; reserving 1/2 cup of the canned tomato liquid will be just enough. If you’d like to use fresh ripe tomatoes, start with 2 pounds, halving and seeding 1 pound before dicing. 

How to Make It

Step 1

Drain 1 can tomatoes in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/2 cup liquid. Drain remaining 1 can tomatoes; discard liquid. Combine tomatoes, reserved 1/2 cup liquid, and chickpeas in a bowl.

Step 2

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and next 5 ingredients (through eggplant); sauté 7 to 8 minutes or until slightly tender. Stir in tomato mixture and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt; cover, and cook 5 minutes.

Step 3

Uncover pan; stir in vinegar, paprika, and black pepper. Cook 5 minutes or until vegetable mixture is slightly thickened. Divide vegetable mixture among 4 shallow bowls; drizzle servings evenly with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons oil. Sprinkle with basil leaves, if desired.