The idea for this recipe was taken from Mediterranean Vegetarian Cooking. I don’t ususally cook out of it, becuase I am resistant to using 1/2 cup of olive oil in each recipe. However, everything that I have made has turned out great. I say the “idea” for this recipe because I have really altered it over the years, and I do think that my version is way better than the book’s original.
Be warned: this makes a lot of food! You could pretty easily halve it though, and still have a dinner for 2 – 4 people. I like eating leftovers for lunch, and I this is one of my favorite dishes, so I just make the whole thing.
2 pounds eggplant
olive oil (2 – 4 T)
2 medium onions, chopped
2 c. of chopped celery
2 28-oz cans of diced tomatoes, drained just a little bit
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 – 1/2 c. capers
1/4 – 1/2 c. pine nuts, toasted
1/4 – 1/2 c. golden raisins
4 c. garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed if using canned
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/2 – 1 t. ground cloves
2 t. dried marjoram
1/4 t. ground allspice
Cut eggplant into 1/2 – 1 inch cubes. Spread/heap onto a cookie sheet. Sprinkle very liberaly with salt, stir to coat eggplant in salt. Let rest for 1 hour. Pour eggplant into colander and rinse off. Eggplant can have a very bitter flavor unless the bitter juices are drawn out with the salt and then rinsed away. No need to dry the eggplant–just contineu on with the recipe.
In a large skillet, heat some olive oil. Add eggplant. Stir to evenly distribute olive oil. Saute’ for at least 20 minutes, stirring every now and then, until eggplant is softened and cooked and has turned brownish.
Meanwhile, in another pan (I use my big wok on the stove) saute’ onion and celery in remaining olive oil until softened and onion is translucent (or more, if you like your onion really cooked). In the last few minutes, add the garlic.
Add eggplant, tomatoes, capers, pine nuts, raisins, vinegar, cloves, marjoram, and allspice. Stir to combine evenly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat thoroughly.
Serve warm with salad and bread or pasta. It is good cold, too; I usually eat it that way for leftovers. For true tastebud pleasure, put it into a pastry crust, sprinkle Parmesan cheese over it, and top with another pastry crust and bake at 350 for 30 – 40 minutes or until crust is golden and cooked through.