1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, peeled and cut into 1/4" dice
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/4" dice
1 cup eggplant, cut into 1/4" dice
1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced canned roma tomatoes in juice, or equivalent peeled, seeded fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 bunch italian flat leaf parsley, chopped (stems ok)
1/4 bunch basil, stemmed and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/6 cup red wine vinegar
1 tbsp tomato paste
warm water, if needed
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 tbsp capers, drained
1/2 tsp sugar
1Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat and saute the onion until translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir in the celery and cook until just tender, about 8 minutes more. Remove and reserve.
2Heat the remaining olive oil in the saute pan and cook the eggplant and peppers over medium-high heat until starting to brown and soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in the wine and then the tomatoes and their juice, the parsley, basil, garlic, vinegar, tomato paste, 1/4 cup warm water and the reserved onion and celery mixture. Bring up to a simmer and then reduce heat. Season well with salt and pepper.
3Cook the mixture until the vegetables are tender, but not mushy, and the water is almost evaporated, stirring occasionally. Add the capers and the sugar and taste. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper, adding more sugar or more vinegar to make a pleasant savory-sweet and tangy condiment.
4Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Caponata is a Sicilian sweet and sour version of ratatouille. Like most eggplant dishes, this gets better overnight. It makes a great topping for bruschetta.