- 1 pound eggplant
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 celery stalks, peeled and sliced on a diagonal into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 large red onion, cut into 1-inch thin pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup capers in salt
- 1 28-ounce can peeled San Marzano tomatoes?cut into 1-inch pieces, sauce reserved
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated cane sugar
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 12-inch baguettes—sliced into 3/4-inch slices on a diagonal
- 12 ounces goat cheese
- 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
- 10 large basil leaves, thinly sliced
- Flaky sea salt
- Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
How to make this recipe
Peel the eggplant and cut into 1-inch pieces. Heat a large heavy-bottomed saucepan with half of the extra virgin olive oil; add half of the eggplant and season with 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt. Fry the eggplant cubes in two batches until golden brown, adding the second addition of olive oil and salt with the second batch. Remove from the oil and set aside.
Using the same pan, add the celery, red onion, garlic and capers and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium to low heat until vegetables have softened and look glossy, about 10 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes and sugar to the pan and stir to combine. Fold in the cooked eggplant and cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring every 4 minutes. Add the vinegar to the mixture and season with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, toast the baguette slices until they're crispy on the edges and lightly golden brown. Spread each toasted slice with about 1 tablespoon of goat cheese, and add a heaping spoonful of the warm caponata. Garnish each slice with toasted pine nuts and basil and season with flaky sea salt. Drizzle lightly with olive oil just before serving.
Make the caponata a day in advance—it's even better on the second day after the flavors have come together. If it's not enjoyed all at one sitting, it keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days.