Italian Style Eggplant Appetizer. Very versatile. It's equally good served warm or at room temperature with crusty Italian bread, as well as hot over Pasta or chilled as a salad.
- olive oil
- 2 large Eggplants or 4 small Eggplants, small dice
- 1 large red pepper, small dice
- 1 medium green pepper, small dice
- 2 medium red onions, small dice
- 3 tablespoons garlic, chopped
- 4 tablespoons capers, divided (2 Tablespoos chopped, 2 Tablespoons whole)
- 6 anchovy fillets, minced (optional)
- 1 cup balsamic vinaigrette salad dressing
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3/4 cup tomato puree
- 1 bunch basil, chiffonade (means finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoons oregano, chopped
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup pitted green olives (Usually come in a jar stuffed with pimentos)
- Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a large saute pan (as the Eggplant will soak it up).
- Brown the Eggplant in the oil in small batches.
- Set aside in a stainless steel bowl.
- NOTE: the Eggplant is usually cooked with the skin on it adds color to the dish, however if you find the skin to be particularly tough or stringy you can peel the Eggplant and cook it skinned.
- Heat more oil.
- Saute peppers until soft.
- Add sauteed peppers to bowl with the Eggplant.
- Cook onions and garlic until onions are tender.
- Add brown sugar and vinegar and cook 2 minutes more.
- Add tomato puree and green olives and cook until you have a thick, brown sweet-and-sour sauce.
- Pour sauce over Eggplant and peppers and toss to coat.
- Add capers, Anchovies and herbs, and mix well.
- Adjust seasonings to taste.
- Serve warm or at room temperature with slices of crusty Italian bread.
- Also excellent served hot on top of Pasta or chilled and served as a salad.