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Serves 4 - 6
  • 1 large eggplant salt and black pepper
  • about 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • 1/2 head celery, diced
  • 2 onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup (125 g) tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup (60 g) sugar
  • 1/2-3/4 cup (125-175 ml) red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup (125 g) pitted green olives
  • 2 tbsp capers (optional)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 cup (30 g) parsley, chopped


  1. Cut the eggplant into 1/2-in (I-cm) chunks and sprinkle generously with salt. Leave to stand for 30 minutes to draw out the bitter juices, then rinse well with cold water, and dry thoroughly with paper towels.
  2. Heat three-quarters of the oil in a large saucepan, add the eggplant, and cook gently, stirring, for 8 minutes or until tender. Remove the eggplant from the pan with a slotted spoon.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in the pan, add the celery, and cook gently, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes or until browned.
  4. Return the eggplant to the pan with the onions, tomato paste, sugar, and vinegar. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes to reduce the harshness of the vinegar. Add a little water if the mixture becomes too thick and starts sticking to the pan,
  5. Remove from the heat and add the green olives, capers, if using, garlic, and half of the parsley. Add pepper to taste. Cover and leave to cool. To serve, transfer to serving plates and sprinkle with the remaining parsley.


These are the flower buds of a Mediterranean shrub, preserved by pickling in vinegar and salt. They have a tangy, sour taste.