2 lb eggplant (any variety)
4 oz extra virgin olive oil
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
14 oz canned Italian plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
10 large green or black olives, pits removed, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp capers, rinsed and dried
5 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp sugar, or to taste
Black pepper, to taste
2 Tbsp pine nuts
2-3 tsp roughly chopped fresh basil leaves
Dice the eggplant and place the cubes in a colander. Sprinkle with salt, and set aside for an hour.
Heat half of the oil in a large sauté pan, and cook the celery for approximately 15 minutes over low heat before adding the onion. When the onion is soft and beginning to change color, remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon, and add the remaining oil to the pan. Turn the heat to medium-high, and add the eggplant. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring continuously. Add the tomatoes, olives and capers, and the vinegar, sugar, and a bit of pepper. Return celery and onions to the pan. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 15 minutes or until the mixture has thickened.
While the caponata is simmering, toast the pine nuts in a dry frying pan for 2-3 minutes, until just lightly browned. When the caponata has thickened, stir in the pine nuts and basil. Remove pan from heat. Allow to cool, and serve cold or at room temperature.