eggplant and cut off stem end. With a vegetable peeler, peel
off most of the skin,
leaving a little on for color and flavor. Cut eggplant into bite-sized
2. Wash celery, remove tough strings, and slice.
Parboil celery: In a small saucepan, bring an inch or two of
a full boil.
for 2-3 minutes, until the celery is just crisp-tender. Turn
off heat and remove the celery with a slotted spoon (reserve
water). Rinse under cold water, or plunge the celery into a bowl
of ice water, to stop
cooking and keep the celery's bright green color. Set aside.
3. Chop onion, set aside.
4. Drain olives, chop coarsely, set aside.
5. Heat vegetable oil in a large frying pan, saute
pan, or Dutch oven (large stove-top pot). Add eggplant cubes in
a single layer. Fry to a deep rich brown on all sides. Remove with
slotted spoon and drain well on paper towels.
6. When all the eggplant is done, pour off vegetable
oil. Add a thin film of olive oil to the pan, and add
heat until onions are tender and opaque, about 5 minutes.
Return the eggplant to the pan. Add tomatoes, celery,
olives, and capers; stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.
about 2 minutes. If mixture seems dry, add the cooking
the celery a tablespoonful at a time.
8. Turn off heat. Add vinegar to taste. Sprinkle
with 1/2 tsp. sugar, stir.
9. Cover and let sit for 1 hour to blend flavors.
Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Store in
container in the refrigerator.
Serve at room temperature. You can also warm it
use it over pasta.
*Note: As long as the eggplant you're using is fresh, there
is NO NEED to salt and drain it before cooking.