Eggplants “Dolce Forte” Recipe

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Dolce e Forte” means sweet and sour. This is an old cooking method that combines the strong taste of vinegar with the sweetness of sugar, creating the intriguing harmony which has been passed down from the Renaissance to present times. Tuscan recipes of wild boar, hare, and vegetables such as melanzane, aubergines, are often cooked this way in Tuscany. Chocolate is sometimes added to enhance their flavor.

Ingredients:
2 aubergines, 2 onions, 400 grams of ripe tomatoes, 1 celery stalk, 5 tablespoons of vinegar, 70 grams of olives in brine, 40 grams of capers, chopped basil, 1 teaspoon of sugar, oil, salt, and rock salt.

Preparation:
Dice the aubergines, place them on a sieve and sprinkle them with rock salt; toss them a few times to get the salt evenly mixed, then let them drain for 30 minutes to lose their bitter water. Remove the pit from the olives and rinse the capers from excess salt, then de-seed the tomatoes and cut them in strips. Slice the onions, place them in a pan with some oil and saute them with the celery you previously cut into small pieces. Add the capers, the olives, and the tomatoes to the onions. In a separate pan saute the aubergines in some oil (the oil will mostly be sucked in by the aubergines, do not add too much of it, it is ok if they cook a little “dry”), then transfer them to the pan with the tomatoes and add vinegar, sugar, and salt to taste. Cook on a low flame for approximately half an hour. Sprinkle with the chopped basil and serve.