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Local Food Journey

Eggplant Caponata

Posted by Kit Henshaw on 08/01 at 11:47 AM

Caponata is a classic dish from Italy—the eggplant soaks up the flavors of the salty and sweet ingredients and is a pleasing, flavor-filled way to eat lots of this healthful vegetable. There are additional health benefits in this recipe from the fresh, in-season garlic, the rice wine vinegar, and the cocoa powder. August is eggplant season with plenty available at the farmers markets, so stock up now! 

Caponata is tastiest served at room temperature as a topping on crusty bread—perfect for picnics and summer entertaining. (Our favorite: slice some good artisan bread, brush on some olive oil and grill until lightly toasted. Then top with caponata.) Caponata is also eaten as a salad or side dish, or as a topping like salsa on meats or fish.

Eggplant Caponata

From Chef Harrison Schailey

2 medium eggplants
1/2 cup olive oil
3 stalks celery, diced
1/2 large onion, diced
3 oz capers
1 Tbsp fresh garlic, chopped
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup tomato, diced
1/2 cup green olives, diced
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, diced
1 Tbsp ocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 Tbsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Slice the eggplant lengthwise in 1/4-inch slices and grill just until tender. When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, dice.

Combine tomatoes, olives, cocoa, and sugar to have ready for the final step.

In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, cook the onions and celery in the olive oil until tender, about 2 minutes.

Add the diced eggplant, garlic, and capers. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, and then add the vinegar. 

Allow to reduce for approximately 1 minute before adding the tomatoes and olive mixture. Toss to coat. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.

Remove from heat and transfer to a glass bowl. Allow to marinate for 2-4 hours before serving. This can be made the day before – it holds well for several days.

Caponata is tastiest served at room temperature as a topping on crusty bread, It may also be eaten as a salad or side dish, or as a topping like salsa on meats or fish.

{name} Author: Kit Henshaw
Bio: Local Food Devotee l Owner, Business Manager, Forager for Harrison's Wine Grill & Catering

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