Eggplant Caponata

My friend Linda tried this recipe and loved it, she said its a keeper, thank you Linda.

from The Test Kitchen @ Canadian Living

Caponata makes an excellent side dish for grilled chicken or fish, a tasty hors d’oeuvre on toasted or grilled bread, or a wonderful main dish tossed with pasta. For best results, choose a firm eggplant that feels heavier than it looks.

1 large eggplant, (1-3/4 lb/790 g)
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1 rib celery, diced
1 lb Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp capers, drained and chopped
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 sprigs fresh oregano, (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes

Peel eggplant and chop into scant 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes; place in colander. Toss with half of the salt and let stand for 30 minutes. Press forcefully to release any liquid;
pat dry.

Meanwhile, in large shallow Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat; cook onion and celery, stirring occasionally, until light golden, about 12 minutes.

Add eggplant; cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is light golden, 6 to 8 minutes.

Stir in tomatoes, water, vinegar, capers, tomato paste, oregano, sugar, hot pepper flakes and remaining salt. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is very tender, about 15 minutes. Discard oregano sprigs. Serve warm or at room temperature