Piatto Freddo di Ortaggi

An Italian salad of cold cooked vegetables with a tart dressing, Piatto Freddo di Ortaggi (pee-yah-toh freh-doh dee ohr- tah-gee) may be served as an hors d’oeuvre or as one of a selection of salads. If you cannot obtain yellow pepper use green pepper instead.3 medium-sized aubergines , cubed and degorged

1 yellow pepper, white pith removed, seeded and cut into strips

1 red pepper, white pith removed, seeded and cut into strips

1 large onion, chopped

1 teaspoon salt

4 fl. oz. olive oil

6 fl. oz. water garlic clove, crushed

1 teaspoon dried marjoram :1 teaspoon dried basil

2 fl. oz. white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375 °F (Gas Mark 5, 190°C).

Place the aubergine cubes, yellow and red peppers, onion, salt, olive oil and water in a medium-sized flameproof casserole. Place the casserole over moderate heat and bring the liquid to the boil. Remove the casserole from the heat and stir in the garlic, marjoram and basil.

Cover the casserole and place it in the oven. Bake the mixture for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until the vegetables are tender and the cooking liquid has reduced slightly.

Remove the casserole from the oven. Spoon the vegetables into a serving dish. Stir the vinegar into the cooking liquid, then add the pepper and lemon rind. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and set the dish aside to cool.

Place the dish in the refrigerator and chill the mixture for at least 1 hour before serving.

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