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1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/4 cups water
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (divided)
1 large eggplant, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 medium onions, sliced
4 large cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons coriander seeds, lightly crushed
2 green bell peppers, sliced
2 medium zucchini, sliced
4 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and sliced
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus additional for serving
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint, plus additional for serving
1/4 pound green beans, trimmed (optional)
1/4 pound small okra, trimmed (optional)

Stir together tomato paste, water, vinegar, sugar, cinnamon and paprika. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and oil a deep earthenware baking dish.

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplant slices in one layer and cook each side until lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to baking dish.

Reduce heat to medium, heat remaining oil, add onions and cook until tender, about 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and coriander. Cook, stirring, until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Add green peppers and zucchini. Continue to cook, stirring often, until vegetables are limp and zucchini is just beginning to color, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and scrape into baking dish.

Add tomato paste mixture to skillet, bring to boil and scrape with wooden spoon to deglaze. Add to baking dish along with tomatoes, bay leaves, parsley, mint, and, if using, green beans and okra. Season generously with salt and pepper, cover and bake until vegetables are very soft, about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings. Discard bay leaves before serving.

Cool slightly before serving with yogurt and additional chopped fresh herbs. Serves 6.

Serving size: 1 cup. Per serving: 222 calories, 6.6 g protein, 10 g fat, 33 g carbohydrates, 420 mg sodium, trace cholesterol

Source: Martha Rose Shulman, Mediterranean Harvest: Vegetarian Recipes from the World’s Healthiest Cuisine