For a different take on eggplant, try some Italian caponata (a relish similar to Greek moussaka). It is excellent on Italian bread, with beef or in a salad. It is best on day 2 or 3 after the flavors ‘gather’ and will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- 1 lb eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt or 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 large red bell peppers or 1 large green bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 large yellow pepper, seeded, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped onion
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped celery
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 (1 lb) can Italian plum tomato, drained and seeded
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons pignolis, I throw in a few extra or 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 6 large green olives, pitted and sliced
- 1 fresh bay leaves or 1 dried bay leaf (I don’t like bay leaf, so I leave out and add fresh basil)
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup white raisins
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
Place eggplant cubes in a colander and sprinkle with salt, cover with a plate and drain for 30 minutes. Pat dry.
Sauté peppers, onion and celery in 2 T of oil in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until onions are soft, 8 to 12 minutes, Remove from skillet and set aside, add remaining oil to skillet.
Sauté dry eggplant in skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently, until light brown, 14 to 18 minutes, return peppers, onions and celery mixture to skillet and stir in all ingredients.
Cook for about 25 minutes, Remove from stove and let stand for about 15 minutes and then refrigerate.Tags: Caponata, Eggplant