On top of all the changes going on at lesliedurso.com, the world lost one of my favorite people.  My great Aunt Rosalina passed away last week.  I inherited her passion for learning and her desire to travel the world.  She had visited 80 countries!  She was also an excellent cook and entertainer.  There was always food cooking at my Aunt Rose’s house.  She had many specialties and this week I would love to share some of them with you!  Today I’m going to start with her caponata.  Caponata is a Sicilian eggplant dish that can be served with bread as an appetizer, a side dish or is excellent as a main dish over polenta.  And it happens to be vegan 😉

Aunt Rose’s Caponata

What you’ll need:

3 medium eggplants, diced into 1/2 inch pieces

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup tomato puree

2 tbsp. sugar

2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

3 stalks celery, diced

1/4 cup sliced black olives

3 tbsp. chopped parsley

2 tbsp. capers

salt and pepper to taste

What you’ll do:

Saute the eggplant in a large frying pan with a little olive oil and salt until it’s soft.  Set aside.

In another large frying pan, saute the onion with a drizzle of olive oil.  Saute 2 minutes.  Add the tomato puree and sugar and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add the vinegar and saute another 2 minutes.  Add in the eggplant, celery, olives, and capers.  Saute another couple minutes and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Chill in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.  Serve at room temp.

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