*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
                                 CAPONATA I
 Recipe By     : 
 Serving Size  : 6    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Appetizers                       Italian
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
    2       lb           Eggplant -- peeled *
                         -- and cut into 1-inch cubes
      1/4   c            Extra virgin olive oil
                         - more, if necessary
    2                    Garlic cloves -- mashed
    1       md           Yellow or red onion -- peeled,
                         -- cut in half, and sliced
    2       c            Sliced celery
    2       c            Chopped ripe paste tomatoes
                         -- such as Roma
    3                    Bay leaves (or more)
                         -- (break dried leaves in
                         -- 2 or 3 pieces -- finely
                         -- chop fresh leaves after
                         -- removing petiole & midrib
    2       tb           Red wine vinegar, or more
                         -- to taste
    2       tb           Small capers
                         -OR- chopped large capers
      1/2   c            Pitted kalamata olives
                         -OR other brine-cured olives
                         -- coarsely chopped
                         Freshly ground black pepper
      1/4   c            Fresh basil leaves
                         -- sliced thinly at the
                         -- last minute
    3       tb           Toasted pine nuts
                         -OR- chopped walnuts
                         Chopped fresh parsley
   Place the eggplant cubes in a colander and sprinkle
   them generously with salt.  Let stand at least 1/2
   hour; rinse well under cold water, drain, and pat dry
   with paper towels. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large heavy
   skillet over medium-high heat. Gradually add the
   eggplant, stirring constantly.  Add more oil as needed
   to keep the eggplant from sticking. As soon as all the
   eggplant is in the pan, gradually add the garlic,
   onion and celery.  Cook until hot through but not
   browned, keeping the heat as high as possible.  Stir
   in the tomatoes, bay leaves, vinegar, capers, and
   olives.  Mix well and lower the heat to simmer. Cook
   for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the eggplant is
   tender and the flavor is well developed.
   Season the caponata with salt, pepper, and additional
   vinegar as needed. Add basil leaves, nuts, and
   parsley.  Serve hot, at room temperature, or chilled.
   Variation: Add chopped anchovies, chunks of fish or
   shellfish, ham, Italian sausage, or other cooked meat
   to the vegetables in the last few minutes of cooking
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