SERVES: 6-8 (as appetizer or finger food on crispy bread)
3 medium eggplants cut in ½ inch cubes (tip: the lightest in weight are the best)1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped leaves only
3 stalks of fresh celery roughly diced
10 sweet cocktail tomatoes roughly chopped (or one large can Italian whole plum tomatoes strained from its juice)
1 medium onion chopped
2 tablespoons capers rinsed
1 tablespoon dried oregano
½ cup Greek olives, pitted and cut in half
1/2 cup of our fresh extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons aged sherry red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 to 2 tsp Kosher salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper TIP: For extra crunch add 1/2 toasted pine nuts before serving.
After washing cut eggplant into ½ inch cubes (do not peel). [You do not need to salt eggplant prior to frying. Most eggplant available today is not bitter.] Heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat in a medium sauce pan [about 1- 2 inches deep]. Add the eggplant and sauté until it starts to turn golden, turning as needed, about 5 minutes on total. Do in batches if you're using a smaller pan. Remove and place to the side on paper towel to absorb extra oil. Add onion and celery to saucepan. Add 1 tsp salt. Sauté until soft. Add additional oil if needed. Then add oregano, olives, capers and chopped tomatoes (if canned) and simmer for about 20-25 minutes. While simmering, whisk sugar with red wine vinegar then pour over the pan when simmering is complete. Heat 3-5 minutes. Add parsley and simmer for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve on crusty bread toasts, gluten-free for your Vegan friends.