1.5 pounds sirloin or ribeye steak, fat trimmed and cut into 4 equal pieces
½ cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large eggplants, cut into ½ to ¾ inch cubes (try to make them evenly sized pieces)
2 shallots, minced
4 large plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp capers
¼ cup raisin
4 celery sticks, chopped
¼ cup red wine vinegar
handful toasted pine nuts and basil leaves
Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and season with pepper (no salt yet). Let come to room temperature while you're making the caponata.
Make the caponata: pour the ½ cup olive oil into a large saucepan or casserole and heat it gently over medium heat.
Add the eggplant and cook for a good 15-20 mins until the eggplant is soft. Scoop the aubergines out of the pan and onto the plate.
There should still be some olive oil left in the pan (if not, drizzle a little more into the pan to keep the shallots that you're about to add from sticking). Add the shallots and cook for about 5 mins until they are soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook slowly until they're soft and mushy.
Return the eggplant to the pan along with the capers, raisins, celery and vinegar. Season well and cover. Cook over a low heat for 40 mins, until all the vegetables are soft. Stir gently every once in awhile.
While the caponata is simmering, prep your steaks. Heat a heavy, ovenproof pan over high heat and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Rub the remaining olive oil over the steaks and season with salt. Add the steaks to the pan and sear on one side (don't move the steak around; to get a really great, even brown crust, just let it sit in the pan for about 3 minutes. The steak will release itself once a nice brown crust has formed). Flip the steak over and sear for another 3 minutes. Take the temperature of the steak -- if it's under the desired temp (145 degrees F for medium rare), stick the entire pan into the oven and let it cook for an additional 5-6 minutes until the desired internal temp is reached.
Remove the steaks from the pan and tent them with foil. Let the steaks rest on a plate for about 10 minutes before slicing.
Remove the caponata from heat and taste to make sure the veggies are tender. Finely slice the basil and stir in the pinenuts. Serve wth the steaks.
Recipe by Grits and Chopsticks at https://www.gritsandchopsticks.com/the-gravy-train/2017/04/steak-and-eggplant-caponata.html