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Eggplant Dip - Caponata

adapted from Laurel’s Kitchen

 

1 large Italian eggplant or 2-3 slender Asian eggplants (about 1 pound)

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp. olive oil

1 c. finely chopped celery

1 bell pepper, diced

1 c. finely diced tomato

¼ c. capers

1 tbsp. honey

¼ c. red wine vinegar

½ c. olives, chopped

¼ tsp. salt

fresh black pepper

 

Cut eggplants in half and brush cut side with olive oil. Bake in the oven or roast on the grill for the best flavor, cut side down at 350 for 30-45 minutes, until tender and skin is wrinkled. Or for even better flavor, roast on the grill, whole or cut side up, until tender. Let cool. Sauté onion in olive oil. Add celery when onion is beginning to soften. Once onion is translucent, add bell peppers, tomatoes, capers, honey, vinegar, and olives. Simmer, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Meanwhile, peel and dice the eggplant. When tomato mixture has lost most of its liquid, remove from heat and add the eggplant, salt, and pepper. Correct the salt, how much you need will depend on how salty your olives are. Serve chilled.

Caponata is a traditional antipasto dish, but makes a lovely dip for crackers or vegetables as well.