This is such a great way to use eggplant especially when its on sale. I usually triple this recipe. There are several variations I’ve used: add raisins plump with wine or add pignoli (pine-nuts) toasted or not all add subtle complexities without altering its already deliciousness!
1 small (3/4 lb) eggplant, quartered lengthwise, unpeeled
1 tsp salt for salting eggplant
2 tbsp light brown sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup tomato paste
1 tsp finely chopped fresh or dried basil
1/2 cup pitted black olives without juice
2 tbsp capers with juice
1/3 cup diced onion
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup diced green pepper
1/3 cup diced red pepper
Cut eggplant quarters crosswise into ½” slices, Sprinkle with salt; drain in a colander for at least 1 hr.
In a 1-qt saucepan, over very low heat, sir together sugar and vinegar until sugar dissolves. Stir in tomato paste, basil, olives and capers; stirring occasionally, continue heating the mixture for about 20 minutes until very thick; reserve.
In a large skillet, add olive oil and fry a single layer of eggplant pieces until very brown on each side. Repeat with all remaining eggplant pieces, adding oil as necessary.
In the same skillet with a dash of olive oil, over low heat, cook the onions, celery and peppers until tender, about 15 minutes.
Once everything has cooled, mix everything together, gently. Refrigerate. Its best not the day you make it, perhaps not even tomorrow, but the day after that, fantastico! It keeps for 2-weeks but it never seems to last that long in my kitchen.