Potato Pepper And Eggplant Casserole
2 1 1/4-pound eggplants, thinly sliced crosswise
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 28-ounce can Italian-style tomatoes
2 large fresh thyme sprigs
Olive oil (for frying)
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced
3 green bell peppers, cored, thinly sliced
5 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
Place eggplant slices on 2 baking sheets. Lightly salt eggplant on both sides.
Let stand 1 hour. Using paper towels, pat eggplant dry, wiping off salt.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and
garlic, sauté until golden, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juices and
thyme sprigs; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture is reduced to
2 1/2 cups, breaking up tomatoes with back of spoon, about 20 minutes. Season
sauce with salt and pepper. Discard thyme sprigs.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Add oil to 2 large skillets to depth of 1/4 inch. Heat
over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add eggplant to skillets and cook
until golden, adding more oil to skillets as necessary, about 5 minutes per
side. Transfer to paper towels and drain. Working in batches, add potatoes to
skillets, cook until golden, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer potatoes to
paper towels. Add green peppers to same skillet; sauté until almost tender,
about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels.
Layer half of eggplant in 15x10x2-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle with 1
tablespoon thyme. Spoon 1/2 cup sauce over. Top with half of potatoes. Season
with salt and pepper. Top with 1 tablespoon thyme. Spoon 1/2 cup sauce over.
Place all pepper slices over. Season with salt and pepper. Top with 1 tablespoon
thyme. Spoon 1/2 cup sauce over. Top with remaining eggplant. Top with 1
tablespoon thyme. Spoon 1/2 cup sauce over. Top with remaining potatoes. Season
with salt and pepper. Top with 1 tablespoon thyme and 1/2 cup sauce.
Bake uncovered until vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes. Let stand 15
minutes before serving.