Caponata (version XXI)

6 cups eggplant, 1/4 inch dice
1 large onion, diced finely
4 stalks celery, diced finely
4 tablespoons drained capers
olive oil salt to taste
1 can tomato paste, (6 ounces)
enough water to fill can from tomato paste 4 times
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup red wine vinegar

1. Sauté onion and celery in a few tablespoons of oil until vegetables are softened and the onion is caramelized, about 15 minutes. Remove from skillet.

2. Fry eggplant in skillet until softened, if desired sauté for a few minutes and then add a little water and cover to steam.

3. Dissolve the tomato paste in enough water to fill its can 4 times.

4. Add the all ingredients back to the skillet. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer for about a half hour, checking frequently and adding water if it looks dry.

Serve at room temperature or cold with crusty italian bread or whole grain crackers.

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