Photo by Jonathan Boncek

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4-6 servings

    For Spice Mix
  • 4 grams cocoa powder
  • 4 grams Chinese five spice
  • 50 grams sugar in the raw
  • ⅛ teaspoon chile flakes
  • For Fruit
  • 75 grams dried black currants
  • 100 grams diced dried apricot
  • 125 grams dried golden raisins
  • For Ragout
  • 175 grams butter
  • 50 grams olive oil
  • 50 grams capers
  • 100 grams diced red onion
  • 125 grams diced piquillo peppers or roasted red bell peppers
  • 600 grams diced eggplant
  • 250 grams peeled and diced celery
  • 100 grams of chopped olives
  • 250 grams tomato sauce
  • 30 grams red wine vinegar
  • 20 grams balsamic vinegar
  • Spice mix (from above)
  • Fruit (from above)
  • 100 grams toasted pine nuts
  • Salt

For the Spice Mix

  1. Mix all ingredients together and set aside.

For the Fruit

  1. Bring 500 grams water to a boil.
  2. Pour it over the fruit; let it bloom (sit) for one hour.
  3. Drain the water, reserving the fruit.

For the Ragout

  1. In large pan, melt butter and olive oil over medium-low heat.
  2. Add capers, onions, and peppers and sweat them until tender.
  3. Add eggplant, celery, and olives; continue to sweat. Add spices and fruit.
  4. Add tomato sauce and red wine and balsamic vinegars. Continue to stew everything on low heat for about 45 minutes until tender.
  5. Add toasted pine nuts and your favorite fresh chopped herbs as you wish.
  6. Season to taste with salt. Serve hot or cold.

*Please note: In my cooking, I use grams, because weight is always a more precise and consistent measurement than volume. I highly recommend using a home scale. It’s worth the investment.

  • from Nate Whiting of Tristan in Charleston, SC

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