- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 small (about 8-ounce) eggplant, stem removed
- Coarse sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 pound small new potatoes (about 12), scrubbed and cut in half
- 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1-inch chunks (about 2 cups)
- 2 medium red bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
- 2 medium yellow bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 2 cups)
- 2 cups zucchini, cubed (1 inch)
- 1 one-pint basket ripe cherry tomatoes
- crushed red pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded fresh basil
Whack the garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife, toss them into the olive oil and let steep at room temperature 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Remove strips of peel from the eggplant, leaving about half the skin intact. Cut the eggplant into 1-inch cubes. Toss the eggplant with 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, then transfer to a colander. Let stand about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss the new potatoes with enough of the infused olive oil to coat them lightly. Season with salt. Arrange the potatoes, cut side down, on a baking sheet and roast until the underside is well browned and the potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.
Rinse the eggplant under cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Toss the eggplant with enough of the infused olive oil to coat lightly. Spread out in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast until well browned and tender, about 20 minutes. It may be necessary to turn the eggplant once or twice during roasting to cook them evenly. (The eggplant and potatoes can be roasted and kept at room temperature up to several hours before starting the ciambotta.)
Heat 2 tablespoons of the infused oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Fish out the garlic from the oil and add it to the skillet. Cook, shaking the pan, until the garlic is light brown, about 2 minutes. Scatter the onion over the oil. Season lightly with salt and cook, tossing or stirring often, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
In a second large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the infused oil over medium-high heat. Stir in the red and yellow peppers, season them lightly with salt and cook, stirring or tossing often, until browned, about 5 minutes. Slide the peppers into the pan of onions and continue cooking, stirring frequently, as you continue.
Pour 2 tablespoons of the infused oil into the empty skillet and return to medium heat. Stir in the zucchini, season lightly with salt and cook, tossing or stirring often, until browned, about 5 minutes. Slide the zucchini into the pan with the onion-pepper mixture. Add the cherry tomatoes to empty skillet and cook, shaking the skillet until the skins pop, about 3 minutes. Slide them into the skillet with the other vegetables. Gently stir the potatoes and eggplant into the skillet. (Divide the vegetables between the two skillets if they don’t fit comfortably into one.) Stir in the basil and cook until the potatoes and eggplants are heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and season with salt and crushed red pepper if necessary.