Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Caponata

Sept. 2009 138 This is the caponata that led to my downfall – literally.  I wish I could say that Saturday’s visit to the emergency room came after a fall on my Harley or a tumble on roller blades (as happened to my 87 year-old father a few years ago).  No, nothing that exciting here – just a mundane walk to harvest a few last eggplants and down I went after a misstep on a piece of wood in the garden.

Consequently, hobbling on crutches put a crimp on my cooking for a couple of days, but I managed to finally get myself back to the kitchen and show those miscreant eggplants who’s boss.  While a sprained ankle and a few loose bone chips may slow me down for a bit, I’m not about to let a 2 x 4 and some eggplant defeat my feet.

Years ago, I took some caponata to the newsroom where I worked. It was a hit, particularly with Chris, a colleague who asked for the recipe. Good thing, because I had to ask him for it recently when I couldn’t find my own copy. Lucky for me, he still had it and sent it back to me via email. This time however, I changed it a bit and added some white raisins to sweeten it up a bit. I think he’d like it even better now. I hope you do too.

Caponata

Printable recipe here:

2 medium eggplants, diced

1 medium onion, diced

1/4 cup olive oil

2 or 3 large sticks of celery, diced

1/2 green pepper, chopped (optional)

1/2 cup green olives, chopped

3-5 T. capers

about 1 cup of fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (or 1 large can of tomatoes)

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

2 T. sugar

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Peel the eggplants or leave unpeeled if you prefer. I like to make big “stripes” by peeling away half of the eggplants. Saute the eggplant pieces, celery and onion (and green pepper if using) in the oil in a large pan until soft. Add the olives, capers, tomatoes, raisins and pine nuts and cook for another 20 minutes or 1/2 hour. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and red wine vinegar and cook until the sugar dissolves. Pour it into the pot with the eggplant and stir.

This tastes best at room temperature and improves after a day, when the flavors have had a chance to blend. Serve as a side dish or on sliced, grilled bread as an appetizer.

This recipe makes A LOT. I put several containers in the freezer to pull out in the future for a quick appetizer when company comes.

Sept. 2009 140

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13 comments:

Morta Di Fame said...

I love these dishes that just get better over time...
Here's my caponata recipe to compare:
http://mortadifame.blogspot.com/2009/06/sicilian-caponata.html

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I love caponata! I never tried making it with white raisins or pine nuts for sweetness, and I bet that tastes so good!

Sorry to hear about your accident ...ouch! I'm glad you didn't break your ankle. Hope you heal quickly!

[[[Hugs}}}

Faith said...

This sounds like a great version of caponata, I will try it for sure. And take good care of that ankle, for sure!

Mimi said...

Love caponata and I have eggplant in the garden. Thanks for the recipe.
Mimi

Proud Italian Cook said...

Hope your feeling better Linda. Look at you, nothing can stop you from cooking up something good in your kitchen!!

The Food Hunter said...

Sorry to hear about your accident.

I like the addition of the raisins in this caponata.

Mike Hale & Co. said...

Thanks so much for stopping by Mike Hale & Co.! What a nice surprise!

I am loving all these great recipes! We do "Friday Night Friends" every week and I can't wait to try out your dishes.

Glad to see you showed those eggplants who is boss!!!!

& Co.

Bridgett said...

Caponata makes the perfect snack or appetizer for a dinner party in my opinion. Your recipe sounds and looks delicious!

Scintilla @ Bell'Avventura said...

I haven't made this in a long time and I necver thought of freezing it. There never seemed to be enough anyway.
Get better soon but these sorts of accidents take a long time to heal!

Velva said...

This looks really good. Fresh, healthy and delicious.

Hope your foot is doing better! Glad to know that a pair of crutches can't slow you down :-)

Stacey Snacks said...

How did I miss this post?
Caponata is my favorite!!!! I haven't made it all summer, and why not?
I like mine with raisins and vinegar and celery too.

Anonymous said...

AND it was featured in the Sept 25 Princeton Packet!
Congratulations, Linda

Peter M said...

A nice touch with the green olives and celery...it's eggplant season!