Vegetable: Caponata by BarbCA

posted by BarbCA 03-16-102 6:07 AM

from the Time-Life Foods of the World series

2 lbs. eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cups finely chopped celery
3/4 cup finely chopped onions
1/3 cup wine vinegar mixed with 4 teaspoons sugar
3 cups drained canned Italian plum tomatoes or whole-pack tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
6 large green olives, pitted, slivered and well-rinsed
2 Tablespoons capers
4 flat anchovy fillers, well rinsed and pounded smooth with a mortar and pestle
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons pine nuts

Sprinkle the cubes of eggplant generously with salt and set them in a colander to drain. After about 30 minutes, pat them dry with paper towels and set them aside.

In a heavy 12- to 14-inch skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil, add the celery and cook over moderate heat stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Then stir in the onions and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until the onions and celery are soft and lightly colored. With a slotted spoon, transfer them to a bowl.

Pour the remaining oil into the skillet and over high heat saute the eggplant cubes in it stirring and turning them constantly for about 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Return the celery and onions to the skillet and stir tin the vinegar and sugar, drained tomatoes, tomato paste green olives, capers, anchovies, 2 teaspoons salt and a few grindings of pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes. Stir in the pine nuts. Now taste the mixture and season with salt and pepper and a little extra vinegar if necessary. Transfer the caponata to a serving dish and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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