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Caponatina di melanzane in agrodolce (Medley of Sweet and Sour Eggplant)

1/3 cup golden raisins
2 medium sized eggplants
the best olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 inner, white celery ribs, diced
3 cups drained, canned Italian plum tomatoes
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
1/4 cup capers
1/4 cup pignoli (pine nuts)
2 T sugar
2 T red wine vinegar
freshly milled black pepper

Soak the raisins in warm water for 30 mins. Drain and pat dry.

Wash the eggplants and cut into 1" cubes. Put the cubes in a
colander, sprinkle with salt, and let stand for 1 hour to drain.
Rinse quickly and pat dry.

Pour 1/2" olive oil in a skillet. When it's hot, add the eggplant
cubes without crowding them. Fry to a nice golden brown. Remove
with a slotted spoon and continue untill all the eggplant is done.

Discard all but a slight bit of the oil. Add the onion and celery
and saute over medium heat until the onion is a pale yellow.

Press the tomatoes through a food mill or strainer to remove the
seeds. Add the tomatoes, eggplant, olives, capers, pine nuts,
raisins, vinegar, suger, and liberal amounts of milled black pepper.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cook uncovered for 15 mins.

Let caponatina cool to room temperature before serving. Serve with
bruschetta as an appetizer.


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