Fabio Viviani's Eggplant Caponata
- 1 cup Celery (diced)
- 1 cup Carrots (diced)
- 1 large Yellow Onion (diced small)
- 1 1/2 cups Olive Oil
- 3 large Eggplants (half skin removed in strips with a vegetable peeler; cut into 1 inch chunks)
- 1/2 cup Capers (in water; drained)
- 1 1/2 cups Pitted Green Olives (sliced)
- 1 cup Pine Nuts
- 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 1/2 cup Red Wine Vinegar
- 2 cups Basic Tomato Sauce mixed with 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 1 bunch Basil (leaves only)
- Salt and Pepper
- zest of 1 Lemon
- Mint Leaves for garnish
- In a large Dutch oven, combine the celery, carrots, and onion with the olive oil. Cook over medium heat until the vegetables are nicely caramelized, then add the garlic and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Next add the eggplant, tossing and stirring the chunks as they heat up to help absorb all the oil. Once they've released a bit of water, turn the heat to high and keep stirring.
- After about 10 minutes, the eggplant will start to get softer and will be reduced in size. Then add the capers, olives, and pine nuts, and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add the brown sugar and the vinegar, and as soon as the vinegar has reduced add the tomato sauce mixed with the tomato paste. Cook for another 10 minutes and add the basil. Season with salt and pepper.
- Turn the heat down to medium and cook until the tomato sauce is completely reduced and there is no trace of water left.
- Remove from heat and let rest for about 30 minutes. Serve with the lemon zest and mint on top.