Friday, September 16, 2016

Sicilian Caponata

1 large eggplant or 2 small, about 1 ½ lbs.

1 tbs. salt

2 large red bell peppers

1 large onion

2 stalks celery

¼ c. olive oil

¼ tsp. dried hot pepper flakes

1 14 ½ oz. can diced tomatoes

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 tbs. red wine vinegar

1 tbs. sugar

½ c. diced Kalamata olives

1 tbs. drained capers

Peel eggplant; cut into ¾ inch cubes. Place in a large colander, sprinkle with salt and toss. Let it stand and drain in the sink, tossing occasionally, for 1 hr. Rinse and drain well, squeeze in clean kitchen towels to extract moisture. Reserve.

Core and seed bell peppers and cut into ¾ inch chunks. Chop onion into similar sized dice. Cut celery into think slides.

Heat the oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, onion, celery and pepper flakes; saute for 5 min. Add the reserved eggplant and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 5 min longer.

Add the tomatoes, minced garlic, vinegar and sugar. Cook and stir over medium high heat for 3 min. Add chopped olives and capers to the skillet. Cook over medium low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce is thickened. Serve hot as a vegetable side dish or cool to room temperature and serve as a relish or on an antipasto tray. My favorite is as an appetizer with thin slices of baguette bread.