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    Caponata (Eggplant Appetizer)

    1 1/2 pounds Unpeeled eggplant — cut in 3/4 cubes.
    1 tablespoon Kosher salt
    1/2 cup Olive oil
    1 cup Coarsely diced onion
    4 Med. sweet red peppers cut>>
    Into 3/4″ squares (2 1/2 c.)
    1 cup Celery — coarse dice
    8 Med. ripe Italian tomatoes>>
    Pureed to make 2 c. puree.
    1/4 cup Red wine vinegar
    2 tablespoons Sugar
    1/2 teaspoon Minced garlic
    1/4 cup Pitted,sliced — black olives
    3 tablespoons Capers (smallest available)
    Salt and ground black pepper
    Sprinkle the eggplant with the coarse salt and toss the cubes. Let them drain in a colander for 1/2 hr., then pat dry with paper towels.
    Preheat oven to 375 F.
    Heat olive oil in a 12″ skillet and saute onion, peppers, and celery over med. high heat for 5 min., stirring. Add the eggplant and toss for another 5 min. Add the tomato puree, winer vinegar, sugar, and garlic and stir for 2 min. longer.
    In the skillet (if it’s ovenproof) or baking dish, bake the caponata, uncovered for 20 min. Add the olives and capers and stir well. Bake 15 min. more, or until most of liquid has evaporated.
    Cool the caponata, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
    Refrigerate, covered, for 24 hrs. before serving. Caponata will keep for at least a week in the ‘fridge, or 6 mos. frozen.

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