The other night, my friend, Rich, left off a bag of fresh vegetables just picked from his garden in Sonoma. What was I to do for supper with an eggplant, a pepper, and a few tomatoes? I stewed them briefly and served them in a bowl, covered with a lightly panfried egg. The egg yolk mixing with the tomato juices was so good!
To prepare the vegetable stew, put the olive oil with half a teaspoon of salt and the onions in a 10-inch saute pan over moderately high heat. Cook, stirring from time to time, for about 3 minutes, then stir in the peppers and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Toss in the eggplant, season with salt and pepper, and saute over moderately high heat for about 3 minutes. Stir in the zucchini with more salt and pepper and continue cooking over moderately high heat. Stir in the tomatoes, with another sprinkling of salt and pepper and the tabasco. Let the mixture cook, stirring from time to time, until the tomatoes begin to melt.
Meanwhile, put a light coating of olive oil in a non-stick pan over moderately high heat. When the pan is hot, remove it from the heat, and break the eggs into it, one at a time. Let the eggs cook from the heat of the pan, returning the pan to the heat briefly, and taking it off again, until the whites are set. (The eggs will look like fried eggs, but will not be brown or rubbery on the bottom.) Taste the stew, and spoon it into warmed wide bowls, cover each with a panfried egg, and serve.
Note: A quick way to cut the tomatoes is to cut off the skin and the flesh of teach tomato in four pieces around the core, discarding the core. If the tomatoes are not cooked too long, no one will mind the tomato skin and a few seeds.