Make a generous batch of this chunky, olive-studded, Sicilian eggplant antipasto to have on hand—you’ll be set for the week. It makes a wonderful lunch served with sliced prosciutto or any of the great Italian salami along with hard-boiled eggs, can be served on its own with chips and veggies or spooned over fish or chicken. Quite simply, if you could bottle all of the fresh-from-the-garden flavors from the Mediterranean, this Caponata would be it!
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup dried currants or raisins
3/4 cup Renieris Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil (500ml)
3 stalks celery, diced
1 onion, peeled & chopped
4 filets anchovies, chopped
28 ounce can whole plum tomatoes, quartered
1 cup Frescatrano Olives, Pitted
2 tbsp Organic Capers
1 bay leaf
to taste cracked black pepper
- Toss the eggplant with the salt in a colander and let sit for about 1 hour to drain out the bitter liquid.
- Combine the vinegar and sugar in a small bowl.
- Add the currants and set aside to plump.
- Pat the eggplant dry with paper towels.
- Heat 1/2 cup of the olive oil in a heavy, wide pot over medium-high heat.
- Working in batches, fry the eggplant until browned all over, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer the eggplant with a slotted spatula to a bowl.
- Add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, the celery, and the onions to the pot.
- Cook over medium heat until just soft, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the anchovies. Add the tomatoes with their juices, the olives, capers, and bay leaf.
- Return the eggplant to the pot. Stir in the currants and vinegar.
- Simmer, stirring gently and often, until the juices thicken a bit, 10–15 minutes. (Remove the bay leaf before serving.
- Season with pepper. Refrigerate for at least one day and up to one week.