This is a V E R Y yummy eggplant dish from a restaurant in Sac(ramento—called Biba's or something like that). Since not everyone can go there, here's a taste of the deliciousness.

ingreds:

  • 1/3 cu golden raisins
  • 2 med eggplants
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 inner white celery stalks, diced
  • 3 cu drained canned imported Italian plum tomatoes
  • 1/2 cu black olives, sliced
  • 1/4 cu rinsed and dried off capers
  • 1/4 cu pine nuts
  • 2 TBsp sugar
  • 2 TBsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

    directions:

    soak the raisins in warm water ~30 minutes. drain and pat dry. wash the eggplants then cut into 1" cubes. put cubes in a colander and sprinkle w/ salt. let stand for ~1 hour. rinse eggplants quickly and pat dry.

    pour 1 inch of olive oil into a large skillet and heat. when oil is hot add eggplant, but don't crowd the pan; fry, turning, til they're a uniform gold color. remove eggplant w/ slotted spoon and let them de-oil on paper towels, etc. continue frying if there's undone eggplant. pat fried cubes to remove as much oil as possible.

    discard some of oil until there's just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. saute onion and celery in oil over medium heat until onion is pale yellow.

    press tomatoes through food mill/strainer to remove seeds. add tomatoes, eggplant, olives, capers, pine nuts, vinegar and raisins to skillet. season with salt and pepper then bring mix to boil. lower the heat and cook, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. season to taste. transfer to large bowl to cool. serve at room temp.

    serves 8-10


  • for less fat, you can slice the eggplant and grill it instead of frying it in an inch of oil.
  • also, whole olives are fine. this isn't an exact science so play with it.
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