Caponata-Put Your Extra Eggplants to Good Use

This October I visited Seattle. Naturally, I headed to Pike Place Market. At the corner of the entrance is DeLaurenti's Specialty Food and Wine. I bought a couple of sandwiches some goodies headed out to the beach to have lunch with my husband. I bought some caponata from the deli, and it was delicious. Just so happen I over-planted my eggplant this year, so I have a ton at home. I have the round Opus Eggplants and long Asian Black Dragon Eggplants. As soon as I got back from Seattle, I made my own version of caponata with ingredients on hand. Here's the basic ingredients: Ingredients: diced eggplants, onions, celery, roasted red peppers, capers, raisins, green olives, pine nuts, garlic, fresh basil, fresh oregano, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar and home made tomato sauce. Place diced eggplant in a large sauce pan, add salt and weighing down with a heavy plate. Let stand for 30 minutes. Drain the liquid from the eggplant. Saute vegetables in olive oil until they turn soft. Add all other ingredients except fresh basil leaves. Cook until all blended. Add chopped fresh basil leaves. Serve with a loaf of nice crusty bread. Caponata will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks. It tastes good cold. You can free the extras in and used it for the winter.

October 2010 update:
5 lb. Opus Eggplant, cut into 1/2" cubes, add 2T salt, and allow to set for 4 hr., squeeze out as much liquid as you can (this will allow the eggplants soak up flavors later).
5 large ribs of celery stalks, cut into 1/2" cubes,
2 C. carrots, cut into 1/2" cubes,
1 large onion, cut into 1/2" cubes,
Side ingredients:
3 C. Green olives, cut up (I used the Italian Antipasto from the big box store),
1 bottle of 3.5oz. capers
1-1/2 C. raisins,
1 C. pine nuts,
Herbs and seasonings:
Basil: 2 C. fresh,
Garlic: 2 heads fresh, peeled and crushed,
Oregano: 1/2 C. fresh chopped,
Hot pepper flakes, to your taste,
Olive oil,
1/2 C. Red Wine or Balsamic vinegar, (or a combination of the two)
1 C. Brown sugar,
1 C. Homemade Tomato sauce,
Salt and pepper to taste.

Saute vegetables in batches until they are soft, making sure they are all well coated with. Add other ingredients gradually, mix well, allow to cook together.

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