Caponata Tangy Chopped Eggplant
Serve caponata at room temperature or chilled with wedges of pita bread or toasted Italian bread and, if desired, a sharp, medium soft cheese.
2 medium eggplants
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil - divided use
1 large onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
3 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons minced fresh oregano or 1 tablespoon crumbled dried oregano
3 fresh Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon capers, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup oil-cured black olives, pitted and minced
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat oven to 450°F (230°C). Pierce the eggplants in several places with a fork. Wrap the eggplants in foil and bake until soft, about 30 minutes. Unwrap the foil and let the eggplants cool.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When hot add the onion, celery, bell peppers (all chopped to roughly the same size) and oregano. Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté, stirring often until the vegetables are soft and limp, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and continue cooking over medium heat until they break down into a sauce, about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Add the balsamic vinegar, turn up the heat to medium-high and stir for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
- Peel the eggplants and chop the pulp, separating out as many seeds as possible. Return the skillet to medium heat and stir in the eggplant, capers, raisins, olives, and sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until chilled through, about 3 hours.
- Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Serves 4 to 8 people, recipe yields 1 1/2 cups.
Tip: Caponata can be made up to 3 days advance. Wrap or cover tightly, preferably in a glass container and refrigerate.