Caponata (version XIII)

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2 medium eggplants
2 onions, chopped
1 cup celery, sliced
1 can (no. 2) pear tomatoes
2 ounces capers, drained
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

1. Wash eggplants, peel and cut into one-inch cubes; dry with absorbent paper. Fry in very hot oil about 10 minutes or until soft and slightly browned. Remove eggplant and put in large saucepan.

2. Fry onion in same oil, add more oil if necessary. When onions are golden, add tomatoes and celery; simmer about 15 minutes or until celery is tender. Add to eggplant mixture.

3. Dissolve sugar in vinegar; add salt and pepper to taste, heat slightly. Add to eggplant, cover; simmer about 20 minutes over very low heat. Stir occasionally. Let cool.

Serves 8 as an appetizer.

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