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eggplant challenge: day 1.

I got a huge eggplant recently and instead of making one dish (thus getting sick of eggplant), I cut into sections: 1/2 went to the eggplant caponata, 1/4 went to the eggplant tofu stack and 2 slices went to an eggplant panini (more on the last two to come). The caponata made enough for two lunches with a green salad on the side.... 
eggplant caponata.
2/3 of a large eggplant
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp golden raisins
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp capers
generous sprinkling of dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
Before beginning: drain the eggplant.  Eggplant can be bitter unless it is drained.  I find lining a baking sheet with paper towels, and on top placing slices of eggplant sprinkled with salt.  Add another layer of paper towels and another baking sheet (the same size).  Weight down evenly (I add another baking dish or two).  Drain about 15-20 minutes before using.  You could also just place the eggplant in a colander with salt but I find that takes 30+ minutes and you have to use a lot of salt for it to work. 

Cube eggplant into 1 inch pieces.  Heat a medium-large pot over medium heat, adding olive oil.  Add eggplant and onions, sprinkle with salt and pepper - cooking 2 minutes.  Add red bell pepper and cook an additional 3 minutes.  
 Add tomatoes, raisins, oregano and stir to combine.  Cook on low for about 15-20 minutes for the flavors to combine.  In the last couple minutes, add vinegar, sugar and capers, stirring to combine.  Garnish with chopped fresh basil (or in my case I used microgreens) and enjoy at room temp.  
Note: caponata keeps covered in an airtight container up to 5 days in the fridge. 

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