Eggplant and olive salad (Capunatina)
Prep: 25 minutes. Soak: 30 minutes. Cook: 1 hour, five minutes. Yield: 7 cups
William Rice, the Chicago Tribune's former food and wine columnist, shared this recipe, adapted from one in the late Vincent Schiavelli's "Papa Andrea's Sicilian Table," with readers in a St. Joseph's Day story that ran in 2001.
3 cups whole, large green olives
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
3 ribs celery, thinly sliced
2 large eggplants, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 can (28 ounces) Italian plum tomatoes
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 leaves basil
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1. Smash each olive with meat pounder or side of knife. Place in small bowl; cover with cold water. Let soak to remove excess salt, changing water twice, about 30 minutes. Drain; set aside.
2. Heat 1/3 cup of the oil in large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add celery; cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add eggplant; cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir in olives, raisins and 1 /2 teaspoon of the salt. Cover; cook, stirring occasionally, over low heat, about 40 minutes.