Time: 50 minutes. Caponata, a sweet, tangy Sicilian eggplant-pepper relish, tastes downright addictive spooned over toasts with mild, creamy ricotta cheese.
1 loaf (1 lb.) crusty Italian bread such as ciabatta, cut into 1/3-in.-thick slices
About 6 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 large eggplant, cut into 1/2-in. dice (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped green olives
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cup ricotta cheese
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°. Lay bread on a baking sheet and drizzle with about 2 tbsp. oil. Bake until toasted and light golden brown, about 5 minutes. Set aside.
Heat 2 tbsp. oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook eggplant, stirring often, until softened and starting to brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
In the same pan, cook garlic in remaining 2 tbsp. oil, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add celery, bell pepper, and olives, stirring to combine, and cook until softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup water, the vinegar, tomato paste, raisins, and pine nuts and cook until heated through. Stir in reserved eggplant, salt, and sugar, then mix in herbs.
Serve caponata with ricotta on the toasted bread.
Make ahead: Chill caponata up to 2 days and store toasts airtight up to 2 days.