- Olive Oil, for frying
- 1.5 lb eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 cup tomato puree
- 1 cup sliced hearts of celery, plus 2 Tablespoons chopped celery leaves
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup capers
- 5 anchovy fillets, finely chopped (optional) OR Vegetarians can use 2+ Tsp of Soy Sauce, to taste
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tsp raisins (optional)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted, for garnish (optional)
- Heat a 1-inch depth of olive oil in a heavy, high-sided frying pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry the cubed eggplant until golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch. Remove the cooked eggplant with a slotted spoon and let drain on paper towels.
- When all of the eggplant has been fried, pour off all but 1/2 cup of the olive oil from the pan and lower the heat to medium. Add the onion and celery hearts, and cook, stirring often, until light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the tomato puree, vinegar, capers, anchovies (optional), sugar, and raisins (optional) and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Stir in the fried eggplant and continue simmering for 30 minutes more, until most of the liquid has cooked off and the mixture is thick. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and let cool. Garnish with the celery leaves and pine nuts (optional) and serve warm or at room temperature. This is a great topping for garlicky toasts, as a filling in a sandwich, or tossed with pasta.
- Not included in Large Real Food Box: Olive oil, capers, Anchovy fillets (optional), Sugar, Salt, Pine Nuts (optional), raisins (optional)
- For even tastier eggplant, toss it with 2 tsp salt after dicing it. Let it sit for 20 minutes while you prep the other ingredients, then squeeze the eggplant gently to extract the bitter juices before cooking. (Discard the bitter juices.)
Excerpted from Home Cooked: Essential Recipes for a New Way to Cook by Anya Fernald with Jessica Battilana, copyright © 2016, published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Photography copyright © 2016 by Brown W. Cannon III.