Salmon with Ratatouille

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Yield: 4 servings       

4 Tbsp  Olive oil
1-1/2 lb Japanese eggplant cut in 1” dice
To taste Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 small  Onion, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
3 cloves  Garlic, thinly sliced
2 small  Zucchini, quartered longwise and cut in 1” thick pieces
3 each  Tomatoes, peeled and cut in chunks
1 each  Red bell pepper, roasted, seeded and cut into 1” dice
1 each  Yellow bell pepper, roasted, seeded and cut into 1” dice
12 each  Basil leaves, torn in half (leave a few sprigs for garnish)
2 tsp  Fresh thyme
4 each  Salmon fillets (about 5 ounces each)
2 cups   Baby spinach
1 tsp.  Lemon zest

1. Heat a large skillet over high heat, add 2 Tbsp of the olive oil and toss in the eggplant. Season with salt and pepper and brown well on all sides; transfer eggplant to a bowl and set aside. Return the skillet to the fire, lower heat to medium and add another tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic and zucchini. Season with salt and pepper and cook until vegetables are tender; about 6 minutes. Transfer vegetables to the bowl with the eggplant and return the skillet to the fire.

2. Add the tomatoes to the skillet and cook until liquid has evaporated. Return the eggplant and vegetables to the pan along with the roasted peppers and cook until flavors meld and vegetables are very tender; about 15 minutes. Toss in the basil and thyme and adjust seasoning. Transfer to a serving platter.

3. Return the skillet to medium high heat; add the last reserved tablespoon of olive oil. Season the salmon on both sides with salt and pepper and place in the sauté pan, skin side up. Brown very well on the one side, turn, brown the other side cover and remove from the heat. The fish will continue to cook and steam in the hot pan.

4. Add the spinach and zest to the pan that the fish is cooking in. Season with salt and pepper and return the lid to the pan so the spinach wilts.

5. Arrange the fish on top of the ratatouille and top each salmon fillet with a bit of the spinach.