5 tablespoons olive oil
680 grams eggplant (1 large), diced into
approx. 15mm cubes
680 grams zucchini, diced similarly to
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
450 grams ripe tomatoes, diced
1 large red capsicum, diced
¼ cup fresh basil leaves
Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant, season generously with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned in spots. Transfer to a large bowl.
Add 2 more tablespoons of the oil to the pan. Add the zucchini, season generously with salt and pepper, and cook as above. Transfer to the bowl with the eggplant.
Reduce the heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook till just beginning to brown. Add the garlic, thyme and bay leaf and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and capsicum. Add the reserved eggplant and zucchini and gently stir to combine.
Bring to a simmer, then turn down the heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 ½ hours. A shorter time will leave the vegetables in more distinct pieces; longer cooking times will break the vegetables down into a silky stew.
Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Just before serving, stir in the basil. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.