Caponata (version XV)

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2 pounds aubergines, cubed
3 1/2  ounces olive oil
1 1/2 ounces onion, chopped
9 ounces assorted pickles e.g. onions, peppers, gherkins
1 ounce capers, rinsed and dried
6 celery leaves, chopped
2 ounces green olives, stoned
1 tablespoon sugar
1 wine glass red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon pine kernels

Cover the cubed aubergines with salt. Put in a colander in the sink and leave to drain for at least an hour. Wash and dry well. Divide the oil between two deep pans and fry the aubergine cubes in one pan.

In the other pan fry the onion, pickles, capers, celery leaves and olives over a low heat for about fifteen minutes.

When the aubergines are soft remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.

Add the sugar and vinegar to the onion mixture, let the fumes of the vinegar evaporate then stir in the aubergines and the pine kernels. Serve warm or cold.

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