Buffalo Mozzarella with Caponata and Garlic Bruschetta

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12 slices ciabatta
Garlic confit
Extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
caponata (recipe follows)
1 pound buffalo mozzarella, sliced thin
Freshly ground black pepper

For the garlic bruschetta, toast ciabatta and spread liberally with garlic confit (1 bulb of peeled garlic cooked slowly until soft in a cup of extra-virgin olive oil).

Place a generous spoonful of caponata at room temperature on 1 side of each plate. Place several slices of mozzarella on top of garlic bruschetta. Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and finish with a grinding of black pepper. Serves 6.

Caponata
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large eggplant, peeled and diced
1 large red onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 sticks celery, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
1 14-ounce can peeled roma tomatoes, chopped, with juice
1/3 cup chopped, pitted green and/or black olives
1 tablespoon salted capers, rinsed well
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, shredded

Heat olive oil in a wide, heavy-based saucepan and sauté eggplant until golden. Remove eggplant from pan. Add onion and sauté until golden. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes more, adding a little additional oil if required. Add celery and peppers and cook for 5 minutes.

Deglaze pan with vinegar, then add sugar and tomatoes with their liquid; stir well. Cook uncovered until mixture is fairly dry. Return eggplant to the pan with the olives and capers, mix well and season with salt and pepper. Cook a further 5 minutes, then remove from heat and stir through parsley. Serve either warm or cold.

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