Italian Eggplant Ragoût
The meaty texture of eggplant makes it an ideal ingredient in vegetarian entrées, and its antioxidant content makes it a nutritional powerhouse. Eggplant is rich in a phenolic compound called chlorogenic acid, a potent free-radical scavenger that confers antiviral, antimicrobial, and cholesterol-lowering benefits. Prep tip: Salting the eggplant before cooking it draws out any bitter juices and helps the vegetable hold its shape when cooked.
- Scoop out center and seeds of eggplant halves. Cut eggplants into 3/4-inch dice. Toss with salt in bowl, and let stand 30 minutes. Drain, rinse well, and pat dry.
- Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 5 minutes, or until softened. Add garlic, and cook 1 minute more, or until fragrant. Stir in tomatoes, chickpeas, and eggplants. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 15 minutes, or until eggplants are tender but not mushy. Stir in capers and sugar, and cook 2 minutes more. Fold in parsley, and season with black pepper.