Caponatina to die for



½ — ¾ cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups diced celery
1 large eggplant, pared, sliced and cut into small cubes, about 3 cups
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
¼ cup parsley
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
1 cup tomato paste
2 large tomatoes, peeled, diced
1 cup water
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 cup small pitted green and black olives
Mushrooms, optional

Heat oil and saute garlic and celery. Remove and set aside. Saute eggplant, onion, green pepper, parsley, sugar, oregano, basil, salt, and pepper and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Add tomato paste, tomatoes and remaining ingredients and cook until soft. Chill until needed.

Note: When sauteeing, never allow garlic to turn brown as it becomes bitter. Before that happens, remove from the oil and set aside, then, if desired, return it to cook along with the rest of the ingredients.