2 lbs of eggplant
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large sweet onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
Pinch of Fennel Seed (optional)
3 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
1 Large zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/4 cup water
3 Tbsp tomato paste
½ cup crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup capers
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
½ cup basil, cut into chiffonade
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Chop Eggplant, In a large bowl, toss the eggplant generously with olive oil and salt, to taste. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast until the eggplant is soft and mushy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Reserve.
Coat a wide deep pot with olive oil. Toss in the onion, celery, zucchini and crushed red pepper , Fennel (If using), Garlic and season with salt, to taste. Cook over medium-high heat until beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.. Reduce heat to medium; add tomato paste and water and cook, stirring, until caramelized and water is almost evaporated, 2 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes; cook for 10 minutes. Mix sugar in with vinegar and add along with raisins and capers and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 15 minutes more. Mix eggplant in along with basil and pine nuts, and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and let cool to room temperature before serving.
* You can store this covered in the fridge for up to a week, it only gets better with age!
* I serve it as dinner- cut extra thick slices of a hearty/rustic bread and toasted them and then topped them with the caponata. You can also serve it alongside of a steak or piece of salmon
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