Thursday, December 30, 2010

Eggplant Caponata

Want a great way to use up leftover or nearly past their prime veggies? I got ya covered with my Eggplant Caponata recipe.

If you've never had the pleasure of eating Caponata, you gotta try it. Caponata is a Sicilian dish made with eggplant and a host of other veggies, depending upon who makes it. It's a super healthy and delicious, one pan meal that takes minimal time to prep and is great because besides all of the chopping, the oven does all of the work for you. It's a great recipe to have in your back pocket because it can be eaten in a variety of ways:

-Mix warmed Caponata into freshly made hot pasta for an amazing chunky pasta sauce packed with veggies and FULL of flavor.

-As a side dish next to any protein and especially great as a topping for a piece of baked fish such as cod.

-As a dip or topping for some garlic rubbed, toasted bread.

-Mixed into Italian (oil packed) tuna and eaten as a sandwich on crusty bread (this is our family's favorite way).

As you can see, the possibilities are endless. Don't obsess over the exact ingredients. Use what you have in the fridge. Traditionally, pine nuts are added to the aponata but I didnt have any this time so I skipped it. This may seem like a crime to many of the other Sicilians out there but I wasn't schlepping out in the cold to hunt down pine nuts and I'm not a really big fan of the taste. Sue me! : )

Give it a try and let me know the variation you came up with!

Eggplant Caponata

Serves 6


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large eggplant, cut into cubes (you can remove the skin if you'd prefer but we like to leave it on

1 large zucchini, cut into cubes

1 small onion, chopped small

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 red bell pepper

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/3 cup pitted olives

1/2 cup raisins

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup, basil, torn into small pieces

1 1/4 cup tomato sauce (i use whatever sauce I have made, jarred marinara works well too!)

1/3 cup water


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Pour olive oil into a large rimmed baking sheet. Dump all of the remaining ingredients into the pan and toss so that everything is coated in the sauce. Place in oven and cook for 35-40 minutes, stirring the mixture every 15 minutes or so to promote even cooking of the vegetables.

3. Serve hot in any of the above ways or allow to cool and store in an airtight container for 4-5 days.

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