Caponata is a Sicilian sweeter and brinier (owing to olives and capers) version of the French ratatouille. Because eggplant absorbs flavours like a sponge, it is particularly good in such a piglet dish. Like most eggplant dishes, this gets better overnight. It's meant to be served at room temperature.
- 1 ½ pounds eggplant
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 28-oz can tomatos, undrained
- 3 cups onion, sliced
- 2 cups green bell pepper, chopped
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ cup black olives, halved
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup pine nuts (optional)
- Peel the eggplant and cut into 1-inch cubes
- Heat oil in a large, heavy sauté pan over medium heat
- Add eggplant, tomatoes, onion, green pepper & garlic
- Cook until eggplant is tender and seemingly melting, at least 30 minutes but longer will enhance flavors
- Add remaining ingredients, except pine nuts, and simmer for 15 minutes
Serve at room temperature (or even chilled) with pita chips or toasted baguette slices; sprinkled with optional pine nuts.
If serving with pine nuts, toast them in a 350° in oven until golden, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle over Caponata just before serving.