The Fusia/Fuscą Family  

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Caponata

2 medium sized eggplants 

1/2 cup of olive oil

2 cups of celery, sliced thin

3/4 cup of onions, chopped
1/3 cup of red wine vinegar, mixed with 1 tablespoon of sugar
2 cups of drained canned Italian plum or whole pack tomatoes - chopped
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
7  large  green olives, slivered  (use the good ones from an Italian market not grocery store green olives in brine)

2 tablespoons of capers - rinsed
2 tablespoons of pine nuts - toasted

salt and ground pepper to taste


Cut eggplant into ½ - 1 inch cubes.  Sprinkle cubes of eggplant with salt and set them in a colander in the sink to drain. After 30 minutes, rinse them and pat dry with paper towels and set them aside.  Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in heavy skillet, add celery and onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently for 10 minutes until celery and onions are soft and lightly colored. With slotted spoon transfer to bowl.

Pour remaining 1/4 cup oil in skillet and over high heat saute the eggplant in it, stirring and turning about 8-10 minutes until they are lightly browned but not mushy.

Return celery and onion to skillet, stirring in vinegar and sugar, the tomatoes, tomato paste, green olives and capers and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, stirring for 10-15 minutes.

Take off heat and let cool.

Stir in pine nuts.

 Serve at room temperature.

*** You can also throw in a handful of golden raisins and use a little less sugar. Maybe add a little fresh basil too towards the end.