Caponata

5 tablespoons olive oil
1 1 1/2-pound eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, cubed
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings in juice
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons drained capers
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Salt
Black pepper

Optional garnish: chopped fresh basil or toasted pine nuts

Place cubed eggplant in colander and sprinkle with salt. Let stand AT LEAST two hours (preferably overnight). Rinse well with water and dry.

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add eggplant, onion, and garlic cloves. Sauté until eggplant is soft and brown (about 15 minutes). Add diced tomatoes with juice, then red wine vinegar and drained capers. Cover and simmer until eggplant and onion are very tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in basil, season to taste with salt and pepper. If desired, garnish with fresh basil or pine nuts.

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