Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Even better from scratch

Eggplant Caponata
Cooking With Herbs and Spices Copyright 1963, 1970, 1984

1 medium eggplant
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons tomato sauce
¾ cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons capers
12 stuffed green olives, cut into halves
2 tablespoons wine vinegar I used red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Peel the eggplant and cut it into cubes. Sauté in five tablespoons of the olive oil.

2. Remove the eggplant from the skillet and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Cook the garlic and onion in it until the onion is brown. Add the tomato sauce and celery and simmer until the celery is tender. If necessary, add a little water to the skillet.

3. Return the eggplant to the skillet and add the capers and olives. Heat the vinegar with the sugar and pour it over the eggplant. Add pepper to taste and simmer the mixture tem to fifteen minutes longer, stirring frequently. Serve hot or cold with lemon wedges and buttered toast fingers. Cold caponata may be served on lettuce leaves.

My first experience with caponata was from a can and I have to say, I did enjoy the canned version. That was many years ago and it was one of those things I stopped buying because I could easily eat the entire can which is small but fattening. It's fattening from the oil. Eggplant soaks up a lot of oil.

This recipe is no less fattening and no less addictive. I might try boiling the eggplant cubes briefly next time or perhaps roasting them. Anything to cut back on the oil. At least it's a healthy oil but it's all the same to my hips.

I'll be honest, while I used all of the ingredients listed and only those listed, I wasn't religious about measurements here. I had two eggplants and wanted to use them both so I added a bit more of everything else too.

Question of the Day: Have you ever tried caponata?


Lisa said...

No but I do like eggplant. Roasting it would be great.

Unknown said...

I made caponata this past weekend. A Mario Batali recipe from his cookbook, Molto Italiano. It has balsamic vinegar and cocoa powder in the recipe which makes the color dark and the flavor complex. I am going to use the leftovers over pasta later this week.

Parita said...

Not yet but i loved this as eggplant is my fav veggie :)

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of caponata. is it a regional dish?