Eggplant Caponata Sandwiches with Basil and Mozzarella
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into small cubes, about 4 cups total
- 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 ounces’ white mushrooms, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup black olives, pitted and sliced
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Baguette or ciabatta bread, to serve
- Fresh mozzarella, about 2 thick slices per sandwich, to serve
- Fresh basil leaves, to serve
Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large Dutch oven or wide, deep sauté pan and add eggplant, bell pepper, onion, mushrooms, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes, until vegetables are soft.
Add the olives, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, and oregano. Season again with salt and pepper. Lower heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 30 minutes. Stir a few times during cooking, and add a tablespoon or two of water (or olive brine) if the mixture is too thick and sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Allow Caponata to cool. Spoon on bread, top with mozzarella and basil, and serve. Or, serve warm as a dip.