Serve caponata at room temperature with roast meats, grilled fish, or with a green salad.
|2||medium (about 1 pound total) eggplant, stem end trimmed, cut into 2-inch pieces|
|1||teaspoon salt, and more to taste|
|1/2||cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil|
|1||small onion, chopped|
|1||clove garlic, finely chopped|
|4||stalks celery without the leaves, cut into 1/2-inch pieces|
|1||cup canned chopped tomatoes|
|3||heaping tablespoons capers in vinegar, drained|
|6||large green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped|
|1/4||cup white wine vinegar|
|4||large fresh basil leaves|
|5||stems fresh parsley, leaves only|
1. In a colander, layer the eggplant and salt. Place the colander in a bowl; set aside for 30 minutes to drain.
2. In a large flameproof casserole, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, and celery and cook, stirring often, for 7 to 10 minutes or until the celery is tender when pierced with a fork. Add the tomatoes, capers, and olives. Simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes more. Turn off the heat.
3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet (large enough to hold the cut eggplant in a single layer), heat the remaining 1/2 cup olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant and cook, stirring often, for 20 minutes or until the pieces are golden brown and tender when tested with a fork. To be sure, taste a piece.
4. Add the eggplant to the tomato mixture. Turn the heat to medium. Add the vinegar and sugar and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes more. Taste for seasoning and add salt, if you like.
5. Chop the basil and parsley together. Add them to the eggplant mixture. Stir well.