CAPONATA

Caponata 

¼ c light olive oil
2 cups onions, large diced
2 cups celery, large diced
3 sprigs thyme
1 whole eggplant, cut into ½ – 1 inch squares  (or two medium)
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup green olives, sliced (or mix of kalamata and green)
1 cup pine nuts  (optional)
1/2 c. capers
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup red wine vinegar
10 basil leaves, chopped
½ cup red wine vinegar
3 tbsp. tomato paste
 
Heat light olive oil in a sauté pan, over medium heat.  Add onion, celery and thyme and cook until caramelized.   Turn heat to high, and add eggplant, salt and pepper, and let it wilt.
Turn the heat back to medium, and add olives, optional pine nuts and extra virgin olive oil.
Let everything caramelize, stirring occasionally. Add brown sugar and one cup of vinegar.
Add basil to the pan, and let the vinegar reduce.  Mix the half-cup of vinegar with tomato paste.
Add the tomato paste and vinegar mixture, and let cook an additional 3-5 minutes.
 
****Enjoy this warm as a side dish or cold/room temperature as a salad or dip with baguettes, crackers, etc.
 

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