TT Test Kitchen Tip: Although pistachios are not traditional in this quintessential Sicilian recipe, they add vivid color and texture to the dish. Feel free to leave the out though.
TT Test Kitchen Tip: Serve leftover caponata on toasted pieces of baguette for a quick and flavorful snack.
Yield: 4 servings
Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes plus overnight refrigeration
1 Italian eggplant (about 1 pound), coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
1 celery rib, thinly sliced (about ½ cup)
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
2 ripe Roma tomatoes--cored, peeled and chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon salt-packed or brine-cured capers, soaked in water for 5 minutes and drained
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¾ cup water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup finely chopped pistachios
1. In a colander set over a large bowl, toss the eggplant with 2 teaspoons kosher salt. Set aside for 1 hour, discard the liquid, then rinse and pat the eggplant dry. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet set over medium heat, combine the olive oil, onion and celery. Cook for 8 minutes, then stir in the garlic and reserved eggplant and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and sugar to the pan and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often, until the tomatoes begin to break down. Stir in the capers, balsamic vinegar and water and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until all the vegetables are tender and the mixture is thick. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool. Place in a container with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate overnight. Sprinkle with the pistachios and serve at room temperature.