This is a version of Italian sweet and sour eggplant, Eggplant Agrodolce. Agro in Italian is sour and dolce is sweet. I prefer baby eggplants, they have less seeds and give better texture flavour. Serve with crusty bread. Makes about 2 1/2 cups.
Place the eggplant in a large colander and sprinkle 1 tbsp. coarse salt evenly over the eggplant. Let eggplant drain over a large bowl or baking sheet for 30 minutes to remove the bitter liquids. Rinse eggplant with running cold water, drain and pat dry.
Heat 3 tbsp. of olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat until the oil is almost smoking. Add the eggplant and sauté for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat and reserve.
Heat the remaining 2 tbsp. of olive oil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add celery and red pepper. Cook until vegetables are very soft and onions are golden, about 10 more minutes. Add the reserved eggplant, capers and pine nuts and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add the white wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar, honey, sugar. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 6 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated by about ninety percent. Remove from heat and cool. Makes 2 ½ cups. Yield: 8 to 10 servings.