Caponota

This makes a lovely side dish to lamb or chicken, a tasty summer spread for crackers or bruschetta, or on a sandwich with a little feta or goat cheese. The first time I tasted caponata as a child, I was not too impressed with the salty, slightly bitter glob that had been scooped from a jar. With the magic of the Fairy Tale eggplants, however, the dish is a revelation, not to mention a new summertime favorite!

2      quarts  Fairy Tale eggplant (about a pound)

1      medium onion, chopped 

2      garlic cloves,  minced

1/3   cup red wine vinegar, or to taste

1/2   cup chopped celery

2      tablespoons capers, drained

1/3   cup chopped pitted olives, Kalamata or cracked green

1      chopped medium tomato 

1/3   cup olive oil

2      tablespoons chopped fresh oregano 

1/2-1 teaspoons red pepper flakes

salt and pepper to taste

Remove the green "caps" and cut the eggplants into 1/2 inch cubes or cut crossways into 1/2 inch rounds. Place olive oil in sauté pan and heat to medium hot and add the eggplant, onion, and celery. Sauté about 5 minutes and add the garlic. Stir for about two minutes more and add the remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer until the eggplant is very tender but can still hold its shape, about 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally. This dish is best served a few hours after cooking when all the flavors have melded. Serve hot, cold or at room temperature. Makes about 5 cups.