Best Eggplant Caponata

Adriana's

In St. Louis there are basically two places you can go to find caponata, the Italian eggplant-spread appetizer: in a can and boring at a specialty grocer, or fresh and decadent at Adriana's. Co-owner Diana Guimbarda's secret is the marinating process. Guimbarda combines fried eggplant, jumbo capers, green olives, tomatoes, onions, celery, vinegar, sugar and olive oil into a rich caponata, then refrigerates it for 24 hours. Customers spread the chunky, salty, oily, tangy, addictive concoction on Italian white bread. "We don't sell a lot of it," says Guimbarda, "but for people who know that it's available, it's like gold to them." And while you're visiting Adriana's, try one of their signature sandwiches with roast beef, Provel and roasted green peppers -- you won't regret it.
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