Sicilian-style eggplant in a sweet and sour sauce
Nightshade vegetables are coming into season; it's the perfect time to make eggplant caponata. Actually, any time is perfect for this light but robust Sicilian vegetarian condiment. It's most often served as an antipasti (before the pasta) course. I often enjoy it as a snack on garlic rounds or good fresh bread, but it also makes a great pizza topping for pita pizzas or filling for an omelet, too. You can dress it up and trot it out as an entrée with the addition of fresh grilled shrimp. I've even thrown together a quick pasta sauce using this versatile little gem of Sicilian cuisine. Be sure to choose smooth-skinned, blemish-free eggplants. Raisins, currants, pine nuts and fresh basil are often added to the dish but I prefer it straight up and simple. Because of the acid content, it keeps for weeks in the refrigerator. Be sure to use good quality vinegars or you might ruin the dish.