Caponata alla Siciliana
This recipe is for a crowd, it serves about 8. Place leftovers in tightly sealed mason (jelly) jars and keep in the refrigerator, it will last for several days!
2 1/4 lb Italian eggplant
1 1/4 lb celery
2/3 lb Roma tomatoes
2/3 lb red onions
1/2 lb green olives
1 cup tomato sauce
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
6 oz. salted capers
6 tbs pine nuts
1 1/2 tbs fine cane sugar
salt for eggplant (see preparation)
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil leaves to garnish
- Dice eggplant, sprinkle generously with salt and place in a strainer. Place pie weights on top of eggplant and let drain for 15-20 minutes. Thoroughly rinse salt off eggplant and set aside.
- Rinse capers well and set aside.
- Drain olives and remove pits.
- Strip celery and blanch, uncut, in lightly salted water for 5 minutes. Cut into bite size pieces and saute in oil for about 5 minutes and set aside.
- Cut a small x shape in the bottom of each tomato then drop them into boiling water for one minute to blanch. Rinse immediately in cold water to help remove skins and chop.
- Slice onions finely.
- Saute onions and once they have become translucent add capers, pine nuts, olives and tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally and remove from heat.
- Fry eggplant in batches.
- When eggplant is done, remove from pan. Add tomato mixture back to heat, add eggplants, celery and tomato sauce and cook over low heat for 5 minutes.
- Add vinegar and sugar, when vinegar has evaporated the dish is done! Add salt and pepper to taste if desired.