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Caponata Toasts
Caponata Toasts
 
Ingredients:
 
18 (1/8-inch thick) slices ficelle or baguette
1 and 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 (6-oz) baby eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar
Pinch of sugar
2 tablespoons finely diced pitted green olives (preferably Sicilian)
1 tablespoon drained bottled small capers, rinsed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons finely diced celery
Small fresh basil leaves for garnishing
 
Directions:
 
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350F.

Toast bread on a baking sheet until crisp and pale golden, 12 to 15 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool.

Heat 1 and 1/2 cups olive oil in a 1 to 1 and 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over high heat until it registers 375F on a thermometer.

Fry eggplant in 4 batches, stirring frequently, until pale golden, about 3 minutes per batch, transferring with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. (Return oil to 375F between batches.)

Cook onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add tomato paste and cinnamon and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Stir in water, vinegar, and sugar until combined, then add olives, capers, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Add eggplant and celery and cook, stirring gently, 1 minute.

Transfer caponata to a bowl and cool to room temperature.

Serve toasts topped with caponata. Makes 18 hors d'oeuvres.
 
That's it!
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