The secret to caponata is to cook the eggplant first. For my recipe I used tomato paste which is also sold in bulk in the market instead of the canned tomatoes. I just wanted a glaze.
Spanish influence blends the sweet and sour of the eggplant stew
1 large eggplant
5 celery stalks
1 large onion, thinly sliced
200 gr green olives, pitted
2 tbs capers,drained
500 gr canned tomatoes
50 gr white sugar
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
50 gr raisins
50 gr pinenuts
salt to taste
Cut the eggplant into large cubes ( about 2 cm) and layer in a colandar with fine sea salt to purge the eggplant of any bitter water.
Place the colander in a sink to let the liquid drain off. Cover with a plate and put a heavy can on top or a pot or water.
Leave for about one hour.
When done, rinse off salt and squeeze out extra liquids and sauté in hot oil.
Cut the celery into 2cm pieces and sauté in hot oil. Remove from pan.
In the same pan, in a little extra virgin olive oil, sauté the onion,
When the onion is cooked, add the green olives, capers and the tomato sauce or paste.
Salt to taste and let cook for 20 minutes.
Add the fried eggplant and celery and cook for 10 more minutes.
Add the vinegar and sugar, a little at a time, correcting as needed to create a balance in sweet and sour.
Stir in the pinenuts and raisins.
I just saw my friends in Palermo wrote up the recipe for "Cuccia", which is made to celebrate Santa Lucia, stop by! Agave's blog I love Palermo