Source: Nancy Harmon Jenkins, The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook
- 3 medium eggplant, about 1.5 lbs
- 3 tbs salt
- 1.5 lbs red peppers, both sweet and hot, to taste
- 3/4 c extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 medium onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 medium zucchini, about 1.5 lbs
- 4 large tomatoes, about 1.5 lbs, peeled and chopped (or use 1 28 oz can)
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed or coarsely ground
- 1 tbs capers, drained
- black pepper, to taste
- handful of chopped basil, for garnish
- handful of pitted black olives, for garnish (optional)
- celery, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 c red wine vinegar
- green pitted olives, for garnish (optional)
Rinse eggplant and cut into 1.5-inch cubes. Place in a bowl, add salt and water to cover. Set a plate into bowl to submerge eggplant. Set aside for 1 to 2 hours.
Roast and peel red peppers, collecting the juices. Cut peppers into long strips, and add to juices.
Heat about 1/4 cup olive oil in a sauté pan, and add onions and garlic. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are very soft and melting, about 15 minutes (do not let brown). Remove onions from pan with slotted spoon and add to bowl with peppers.
Drain the eggplant and dry. Heat another 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat and fry eggplant until light brown or golden on all sides. When thoroughly browned, remove with slotted spoon and add to bowl with peppers and onions. (If making caponata, sauté celery with eggplant or zucchini.)
Cut zucchini into 0.5-inch cubes. Brown the zucchini, adding last 1/4 cup olive oil as needed. When zucchini is done (remove to bowl?), add tomatoes, sugar, coriander, and simmer, stirring frequently, until reduced to jam (20 minutes). Add capers. (If making caponata, add extra sugar and vinegar here.) Return the vegetables to the tomato sauce, stir gently with a wooden spoon, and add salt and pepper to taste.