Every so often, we scour the site for cool recipes from our community that we then test, photograph, and feature. This one comes from community member Monica (Sweetbites), who shares her nonna's sweet, sour eggplant dip that is the perfect sendoff to eggplant season.
My paternal nonna (grandmother) was the quintessential Italian cook. She was short, a bit on the round side, and everything she cooked in her kitchen was Italian—even after living in a Latin American country for more than 30 years. I always thought she missed Italy so much, that the only way she could stay connected to the mother country was by refusing to change her cooking style. She stayed true to her Italian roots.
And that is how I learned to cook Italian food. The old way. She was known for tons of signature dishes, each ranked by how many and often people in the family would request them.
This eggplant dip was one of my favorites. Even at a young age and with all the grown-up ingredients, I loved this dip. It’s perfect to eat with toasted French bread. Or atop a steak. Or mixed into scrambled eggs. Or added to pasta. The applications are endless.
It’s not a complicated recipe. If you want to add some variety, feel free to throw in pine nuts for texture or golden raisins for a little more sweet to the sour. But you don’t need to. As always in Italian regional cooking, simplicity rules the day.
If you have an overload of eggplant, this is the kind of dish you can make in a big batch. It keeps well in the refrigerator for up to a week. Perfect for pulling together a quick meal, or spoonfuls of sweet, sour bites for days.
- 2 eggplants (if using the big American variety); 5 or 6 (if using the Indian or Chinese kind)
- 1 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
- 2 medium yellow onions
- 2 to 3 tomatoes chopped
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of drained capers, rinsed and chopped
- 3 tablespoons of pitted olives, chopped
- 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar (you may use less than this)
- 1/4 cup of sugar (you may use less than this)
- 1 pinch salt and pepper (to taste)