My Eggplant Caponata

I use this as a flavor-intensive small side dish or as a relish.

Note: If you hate eggplant you probably won't like this much. Otherwise, this is heavenly! It's as good or better than some I've had imported from Italy.

Do the ingredients very much to taste; these are only very general ideas of what I like.

Saute until soft in olive oil (not much yet; add some water if you have to):
about a cup of halved then sliced onions
Add and continue sauteeing (adding water as necessary) until soft:
a big eggplant cut into medium cubes
Add and simmer about 20 minutes:
about 4 or more oz tomato puree or paste (for paste you might need to add more water)
a spoonful of sugar
about 2 Tblsp or more of white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar (you can always add more at the end)
a big handful green olives (stuffed if you like)
Add near the end:
a big helping capers (about 1-1/2 Tblsp; do not rinse)
a few torn leaves of basil if you have it (optional; I usually omit)
Stir in off the heat:
a generous amount more of olive oil (say 3 Tblsp)
Then taste and add salt, more vinegar if necessary.

I prefer this chilled. It doesn't freeze well but keeps maybe a week or a bit more in the refrigerator in a glass jar. 
(This is still one of my favorite recipes! It's re-posted from the old version of this site.)