Source: Craig Stoll, Delfina Restaurant.
5 lbs Chinese, Japanese, or Globe Eggplant
2 cups celery, diced
2 cups red Onion, sliced into crescents
1 ounce garlic, well smashed
2 ounce capers
5 anchovy fillets
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1½ gallons olive oil or peanut oil for frying
3 pounds Early Girl tomatoes (or similar)
¾ cups red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
Pitted, roughly chopped black olives
- Dice tomatoes and toss with 1 tablespoon of salt in a stainless steel bowl. Allow to sit at room temperature for 20 minutes. Pass the contents through a food mill into a stainless steel pot and reduce by half or until thick enough to coat. It should yield about 2 cups.
- Whisk together vinegar, cornstarch and sugar in a stainless steel bowl. Set aside.
- Cut eggplant in half (in quarters if fatties) lengthwise and then into 1” pieces. Fry batches at 365° in fryer until soft and lightly browned. Turn-out into a 2” hotel pans lined with paper towel. Salt lightly.
- In a rondeau or very large saute pan, over moderate heat, combine oil, garlic, capers and anchovy until anchovy dissolves and garlic browns slightly. Add onion and celery and turn-up heat. Saute for about two minutes Add 2 cups of the tomato juice and bring to a boil.
- Whisk the vinegar mixture once more and add to pan. Bring back to a boil and simmer for a minute until thickened.Pour contents of pan evenly over the eggplant.
- Sprinkle pinenuts and olives over top. Leave caponata in the hotel pan until ready to serve. Serve at room temperature.