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Author Notes: Everyone loves this recipe. It's low-fat but packed full of flavor. It can be made ahead (actually it's better made ahead) and can sit on a buffet for hours. It travels well too. It's a little labor intensive but that's one of the things guests love about. It feels special. I serve it on toasted baguette slices. —TheNostalgicBaker
Makes about 4 cups
- 2 cups eggplant, 1/2 inch dice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 cup yellow onion, 1/2-inch dice
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper, 1/2 inch dice
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, 1/2-inch-dice
- 3/4 cup celery, medium dice
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 28-oz can whole plum tomatoes, preferrably San Marzano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup pitted, coursely chopped Kalamata olives
- 2 tablespoons rinsed and drained capers
- 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
- 3/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Place eggplant in a colander, sprinkle it with the coarse kosher salt, and let it drain for 30 minutes.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large, heavy-weight pot. Add the onion, bell peppers, and celery to the pot. Sauté over medium heat until the vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. While the vegetables are sauteéing, rinse the eggplant and pat it dry with paper towels, then add it to the pot along with the remaining oil. Sauté until the eggplant is soft and light brown, about 10 more minutes.
- Pour about a ¼ cup of the tomato juice into the pot. Over the pot, break up the tomatoes with your hands, allowing the juice and tomato pieces to fall into the pot while removing the stem part. Reserve the remaining tomato liquid. Add the oregano, basil, black pepper, and garlic and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes. If the mixture begins to stick while cooking, add small amounts of the reserved liquid from the tomatoes. When the Caponata is finished all the liquid should be evaporated. Stir in the olives, capers, parsley, sugar and red wine vinegar. Serve room temperature.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Open House Dish
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