Summer Eggplant and Tomato Caponata

side

Prep time: 20 Minutes
Cook time: 90 Minutes
Total time: 1 Hour. 50 Minutes
Serves: 6 Servings

Ingredients  
  • 1 ½ pounds eggplant (1 large), roasted
  • 3 tablespoons Durant Olive Mill Frantoio EVOO
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, from the inner, tender stalks (the heart), diced
  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  •  Salt to taste
  • 1 pound ripe tomatoes, preferably romas, peeled, seeded and finely chopped, or 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes (in puree)
  • 3 heaped tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped pitted green olives
  • 2 tablespoons plus a pinch of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Aperö Blackberry Roasted Pepper Vinegar
  •  freshly ground pepper to taste
 

Instructions

  • Peel the eggplant (leaving small strips of the peel on) and cut it into 1″ cubes. Lay on a large baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon evoo. Roast in a 425 degree oven for 10 minutes. Stir and return to oven for about 20 minutes more until the eggplant is tender and caramelized.  Set aside.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy nonstick skillet and add the onion and celery. Cook, stirring, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes, and add the garlic. Cook together for a minute, until the garlic begins to smell fragrant, and add the peppers and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook, stirring, until just about tender, about 8 minutes. Add another tablespoon of oil and the eggplant, and stir together for another 5 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. The eggplant will fall apart, which is fine. Season to taste.
  • Add the tomatoes to the pan with about 1/2 teaspoon salt and a pinch of sugar. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan often, for 5 to 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down somewhat and they smell fragrant. Add the capers, olives, remaining sugar, and vinegar. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, for 20 to 30 minutes, until the vegetables are thoroughly tender and the mixture is quite thick, sweet, and fragrant. Season to taste with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Allow to cool to room temperature. If possible, cover and chill overnight. Serve at room temperature.