Caponata (Eggplant, Tomato and Raisin Relish)
Yield: 4 servings
1 large globe eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks Kosher salt 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, diced 2 garlic cloves, minced 4 plum tomatoes, diced 1 sprig fresh oregano 3 large celery ribs, diced 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted 2 tablespoons golden raisins 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained 5 green olives, pitted and cut into thin slivers 1/4 cup red wine vinegar 2 teaspoons sugar 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Toss the eggplant with 1 teaspoon salt and let sit in a colander to drain. Squeeze eggplant dry between paper towels, then toss with 1 tablespoon oil.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until a little tender and light brown, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and oregano and stir well. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer until thick and pasty, about 30 minutes.
Toss the celery with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Heat another skillet over high heat. Add the celery and 1/4 teaspoon salt and spread in a single layer. Cook, tossing, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and spread out to stop the cooking.
Add some of the eggplant to the same hot skillet in a single layer. Cook, tossing occasionally, until browned, about 2 minutes. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, working in batches.
Stir the celery, eggplant, pine nuts, raisins, capers, olives, vinegar, sugar and parsley into the tomatoes. Discard the oregano sprig. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 week. Serve cold or warm with fish or crusty Italian bread.
Source: Chef Carla Hall, co-host of "The Chew"