Stewed Batilgian (Moosewood compliments of Helen)

1 large onion, chopped
3 TBS olive oil
4 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 bay leaves
3 garlic cloves, pressed
2 TBS chopped fresh basil (or 2 tsp dried)
1 large eggplant, cubed
salt and ground pepper (plenty of salt)
2 TBS olive oil
28-oz can diced tomatoes

2 TBS lemon juice
2 TBS capers

In dutch oven, saute onions in 3 TBS oil on medium heat until translucent.  Stir in celery, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.  Add green beans, bay leaves, garlic, and basil.  Cover and cook for 7 minutes.  With out stirring, add the eggplant on top of the other vegetables and sprinkle with salt, pepper and remaining 2 TBS oil.  Pour tomatoes in on top.  Cover and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.  Occasionally stir carefully to prevent veggies from scorching, but don’t mix eggplant down, or it will burn.  After the 20 minutes, mix the eggplant in entirely, and continue to cook until eggplant is very tender and dark (30 minutes-ish).  Add more salt and pepper, lemon juice and capers.  Remove Bay and serve.  You could add some broth/stock and make this more of a soupy stew, but I served it as is with couscous and it was delicious (and TJ’s naan).  You could also serve it with pasta, I should think.

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