Caponata

2 medium eggplants, diced

1 medium onion, diced

1/4 cup olive oil

2 or 3 large sticks of celery, diced

1/2 green pepper, chopped (optional)

1/2 cup green olives, chopped

3-5 T. capers

about 1 cup of fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (or 1 large can of tomatoes)

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

2 T. sugar

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Peel the eggplants or leave unpeeled if you prefer. I like to make big “stripes” by peeling away half of the eggplants. Saute the eggplant pieces, celery and onion (and green pepper if using) in the oil in a large pan until soft. Add the olives, capers, tomatoes, raisins and pine nuts and cook for another 20 minutes or 1/2 hour. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and red wine vinegar and cook until the sugar dissolves. Pour it into the pot with the eggplant and stir.

This tastes best at room temperature and improves after a day, when the flavors have had a chance to blend. Serve as a side dish or on sliced, grilled bread as an appetizer.

This recipe makes A LOT. I put several containers in the freezer to pull out in the future for a quick appetizer