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Eggplant Caponatina

From Italian Cooking and Living, June/July 2005

  • 2 large eggplants, cubed
  • salt
  • 4 vine tomatoes
  • 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1⁄4 cup capers packed in brine, rinsed
  • 15 pitted black olives, chopped
  • 1⁄3 cup raisins
  • 1⁄3 cup pine nuts
  • 6 basil leaves, torn

    Special tools: colander

    Place the eggplant cubes in a colander, and sprinkle with salt. Place over a bowl for about 30 minutes to drain out the eggplants\' bitter juices. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil. With a small knife, score an x on the bottom of each tomato. Add to the boiling water, and cook for about 1 minute. Remove from the water, and transfer to a bowl of ice water. Drain and peel the tomatoes. Slice into wedges, and discard the seeds. Coarsely chop, and set aside.

    Squeeze the excess moisture from the eggplant, and add to a dry skillet over medium heat. Cook until browned, and remove from the heat. In a skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion, and sauté until soft. Deglaze with the vinegar, and cook until it evaporates. Add the tomatoes and honey, and season with salt and pepper. Add the capers, olives, raisins and pine nuts, and cook, stirring, for about 15 minutes. Add the eggplant and basil, cook for another 10 minutes, and remove from the heat.

    Set aside to cool, and store in a jar in the refrigerator preferably overnight. To serve, allow the caponatina to come to room temperature. Serve on top of toasted bread for an appetizer, as a side dish with meats or tossed with pasta. Serves 4

    Copyright © 2006, Italian Cooking and Living. All rights reserved.

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