Vibrant Ratatouille

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
2 1-pound eggplants, unpeeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
4 garlic gloves, minced
2 zucchini, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 3/4 pounds ripe tomatoes, seeded, coarsely chopped (about 6 cups)
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 fresh rosemary sprig, 1-2 inches
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat oil in heavy large skillet or pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Add eggplants, peppers and garlic; saute 5 minutes. Add zucchini and saute for another 5 minutes. Mix in tomatoes, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until vegetables are almost tender and flavors have blended, stirring occasionally, about 30-35 minutes. Remove cover and continue cooking until desired consistency, approximately 15 minutes. Remove bay leaf, stir in basil. Season ratatouille with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl. Can be made ahead and refrigerated. Serve warm, hot or cold.

Serves 8.