Eggplant Caponata

My husband and I have realized we really don't enjoy eggplant.  The only time we did like a dish I prepared with eggplant was the Grilled Eggplant Stacks with Tomato and Feta; which I posted previously.  Sigh!  Despite our dislike, we keep giving it a shot, though lately I've given some eggplant away to people who (I hope!) enjoy it, which is as it should be.

Below is a recipe I tried in an effort to use a lot of eggplant we had.  I've had a dish very similar to this prepared by a friend who is a chef in Washington, D.C. and I couldn't eat enough of it.  However, I missed something when I made this--I think I should have added a little more sugar--so I was a little disappointed.  With some tweaking and practice, though, I think this would be really good.  The recipe itself got great reviews on Epicurious.com, so it may be user error (MY user error!).

The eggplant, finely chopped.

We also used Farm Share onion, celery, and parsley in this recipe!

The finished product.

Eggplant Caponata
From Gourmet, via Epicurious.com

1/4 c. olive oil
3 1/2 c. 1/4-inch dice unpeeled eggplant (about 1 1/4 lbs)
3/4 c. finely chopped onion
1/3 c. finely chopped celery
1/3 c. chopped pitted green olives
3 tbs. chopped drained bottled capers
1/4 c. red-wine vinegar
1 1/2 tbs. sugar, or to taste
3 tbs. golden raisins
3 tbs. pine nuts, toasted lightly
3 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch diced (about 1 c.)
1/4 c. finely chopped flat-leafed parsley leaves

In a heavy skillet heat 2 tbs. of the oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking.  In it cook the eggplant, stirring, for 3-5 minutes, or until it is tender, and transfer it to a bowl.  To the skillet add the remaining 2 tbs. oil and cook the onion and celery over moderate heat, stirring, for 5 minutes.  Add the olives, the capers, the vinegar, the sugar, the raisins, the pine nuts, and the tomatoes and cook the mixture, covered, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it is cooked through and the celery is tender.  Transfer to the bowl.  Stir in the parsley and let the caponata cool.  Chill, covered, overnight.  Season the caponata with salt and pepper.

Serve on toasted baguette slices.

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