Margi’s Eggplant Caponata


2-2 1/2 pounds eggplant, ends cut off, partially peeled lengthwise in stripes, and cut into 1/4 inch cubes

4-5 tbsp. olive oil, divided

1 tsp. coarse kosher salt plus more to taste

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1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 garlic clove, finely minced

1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with sauce

2 tbsp. capers, rinsed in water and drained

3 tbsp. pine nuts

1/4 cup chopped green olives (without pimentos)

2 tsp. sugar

1 tbsp. red wine vinegar

1/4 cup fresh chopped basil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray or lightly oil a baking sheet.

Toss eggplant cubes in a large bowl with 2 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tsp. coarse kosher salt. Spread eggplant on prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.

While eggplant bakes, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in an ovenproof pot. Add onion, celery, and garlic and saut é until vegetables are soft, 5-10 minutes.

Remove eggplant from oven and turn oven temperature down to 350 degrees.

Add eggplant to saut éed vegetables along with canned diced tomatoes, capers, pine nuts, green olives, sugar, and vinegar. Heat mixture over medium heat for 1 minute.

Gently stir in basil and place pot in oven, uncovered, for 40 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes.

Taste for seasoning, adding salt, pepper and additional vinegar, as desired.

Allow caponata to cool to room temperature before serving. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container or zip-lock bag for up to one week.

Makes enough caponata to feed an army!