Cookin` with Nino: Caponata

Caponata

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb eggplant
  • ½ tbsp. sea salt
  • ¾ c. Rouses olive oil
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 small red pepper, cut into short strips
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 14 oz can chopped San Marzano  tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp capers, rinsed
  • 1 cup green olives, pitted and finely chopped 
  • 1 cup Kalamata olives pitted and finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 4 tsp. finely chopped fresh basil
  • black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Cut the eggplant into 1 inch cubes and place in layers in a colander, sprinkling each layer with salt as you go.  Leave to drain for 30 minutes.  Rinse and squeeze the eggplant dry with your hands.
  2. Heat 1 /3 cup of the oil in a large frying pan.  Brown the eggplant in batches over high heat, adding oil as needed.  Drain on paper towels.
  3. Add more oil to the pan, reduce the heat and cook the onion and celery for 5 minutes, or until softened but not brown.  Add the red pepper and pine nuts and cook for 2 minutes.  Spoon off any excess oil and add the tomatoes and ¼ cup water.  Simmer for 10 minutes or until the mixture is  dry.  Season well with black pepper.
  4. Add the vinegar, sugar, capers and olives and cook for 2 to 3 minutes over low heat.  Add the eggplant, cook for another 5 to 6 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to cool.  Taste for pepper and toss in the parsley and basil mix, and serve.

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