Baby Eggplant Caponata
I harvested a lot of baby eggplants from our garden this year, and they are delicious in this briny Sicilian sauce, especially when served on a good Italian bread.
- 8 baby eggplants (about 1 pound)
- 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 c eggplant, finely chopped
- 1 celery rib, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 12 oz crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 c chopped pitted ripe black olives
- 1/4 c quartered pimiento stuffed olives
- 2 tsp drained capers, minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh basil, minced
- 1 Tbsp parsley, minced
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/8 tsp coarse sea salt
- Trim stems of eggplants and cut them in half lengthwise. Score them with a knife, making crisscross slices in the top of the eggplants.
- Place them in an oiled 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish and drizzle them with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- In a large heavy skillet on a medium low setting, heat the olive oil. Add onion, chopped eggplant, and celery; saute for 10 minutes or until caramelized. Add garlic and saute another minute.
- Add tomatoes, black olives, green olives, capers, basil, parsley, red pepper flakes, and salt. Blend well and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer on low for 15 minutes, adding a bit of water if needed.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spoon sauce on top of eggplants and place any extra sauce in the bottom of the baking dish.
- Cover baking dish with a sheet of foil. Bake 30 minutes, uncover, and bake another 15 minutes, or until the eggplants are very tender. Serve hot or warm with a side of crispy Italian bread. This dish can also be served on French rolls, topped with mozzarella, and broiled until the cheese melts. Garnish with basil leaves.