Mediterranean Vegetable Stew

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 cup chopped red onion
2 cups coarsely chopped green pepper
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 small eggplant, unpeeled, cut in 1- to 2-inch chunks (about 4 cups)
28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 cup coarsely chopped parsley

In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Sauté onion and pepper until soft, about 10 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, mushrooms and eggplant. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is softened but not mushy, about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes, olives, chickpeas and rosemary. Simmer until heated through, about 10 minutes. Stir in parsley. Sprinkle feta cheese over stew if desired.

Serve over polenta, rice or pasta.

Makes 6 generous servings.



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