August 31, 2011

Eggplant Caponata

There is an excellent restaurant near my office called Casa Nonna, that makes a delicious version of eggplant caponata. (Well, everything they make is delicious. I force my friends to go there all the time.) I thought it might be fun to try to make my own caponata with my CSA eggplants. Unfortunately, I went to the grocery store before I looked at recipes, so I didn't have all of the ingredients that most of the recipes called for. I did find one recipe from the NY Times that matched up with the ingredients I had on hand, but I ended up referencing five other recipes for method and other ingredient suggestions.

I was really pleased with the results. I was a tad impatient when cooking the eggplant, so the larger pieces didn't cook fully, but other than that, I thought it was a great first try!

Eggplant Caponata
Adapted from the New York Times Diner's Journal, Giada's Caponata, Jamie Oliver's Caponata, A Veggie Venture, Bell'Alimento, and Mario Batali's Molto Italiano
Make 4 or 5 cups

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 small onions (or 1 regular size onion), diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium and 1 small eggplant, diced (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (with juice)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
5 tablespoons capers, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add the eggplant and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the raisins, oregano and tomatoes to the pan. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens, 10-15 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, sugar and capers and let cook for another 1-2 minutes. Taste for seasoning.

2. To serve, I like to toast slices of whole wheat baguette, drizzle a little olive oil on them, top with caponata and then sprinkle a pinch of flaky sea salt (such as Maldon) on top. The caponata will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for almost a week.

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