Rosa Bianca Eggplant Caponata

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Rosa Bianca Eggplant Caponata
Serves 4
Eggplant – The Eggplant is a member of the nightshade (Solaneceae) family as it is akin to the potato, tomato as well as the tomatillo and chayote. Although we use the Eggplant as a vegetable it is really a fruit. The English actually gave the fruit the name of “Eggplant” referring to one variety’s shape which was similar to an egg. To much of Europe the Eggplant is referred to as an “aubergine” and in Italy it is called melanzana. The Rosa Bianca Eggplant is one of the Italian Heirloom varieties.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 medium Eggplant
  2. 3/4 cups + 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  3. 2 cups Onions, chopped
  4. 1 cup Celery, finely chopped
  5. 1 cup Tomatoes, cored, peeled, seeded and chopped
  6. 1/2 cup Green Olives, pitted, halved
  7. 1/4 cup Capers, rinsed and drained
  8. 1 Tbsp. Pine Nuts
  9. 1/3 cup Red Wine Vinegar
  10. 1 Tbsp. Sugar
  11. To Taste Freshly Ground Pepper
Instructions
  1. Peel and cube the eggplant. Place the cubes in a colander and salt thoroughly. Let drain for one hour. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. Heat half the ¾ cup oil in a large skillet over high heat. Sauté half the eggplant until golden brown (5-8 minutes). Remove to a strainer and drain.
  3. Add the remaining ¾ cup oil, sauté the rest of the eggplant and drain.
  4. Wipe the pan clean, add the additional 2 Tbsp. oil and sauté the onions and celery just until tender.
  5. Add the tomatoes, cover the pan and cook 4-5 minutes. Uncover the pan and cook additional 5 minutes.
  6. Add the sautéed eggplant, the olives, capers and pine nuts.
  7. Combine the vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Pour into the eggplant mixture and simmer, covered 5-10 minutes.
  8. Season to taste and cool.
Notes
  1. Makes 7-8 cups.
Nino Salvaggio http://www.ninosalvaggio.com/