I have never made a caponata. So this recipe has been on my radar for a while. I have to say I am kind of in love with it. I am a big eggplant fan (and would dedicate space in my garden to this plump purple veggie if my husband and I were not the only ones eating it) and in this recipe it is just perfect. I love the way eggplant soaks up flavors and makes them better.
This recipe was even tastier the next day. Don't you just wish all leftovers were like that? I spooned it onto some hearty Italian bread, sprinkled it with some feta cheese and warmed it in the microwave for about 15 seconds. A perfect open faced sandwich. I almost retrieved the rest of the eggplant from the refrigerator so I could saute up some more caponata for the next day.
I altered this recipe a little from a recipe I found in Food and Wine.
They added fresh avocado to theirs and I opted out (OK I didn't have any left. I have been eating avocados all week.) But I did add the feta which added that sharp tang and the Italian bread which soaked up all the tastiness. Mmm it was lip smacking.
Did I say I was in love with this recipe?
- 1 to 2 tablespoons brined capers, drained
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- One 1-pound eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch dice
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery rib, finely chopped
- 1 medium tomato, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon pine nut
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 Cup of feta cheese
- Italian Bread
- In a small bowl, cover the capers with water and let soak for 15 minutes; drain. Add peeled and cubed eggplant to a colander sprinkle with salt and let sit in a sink or over a bowl for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes rinse and drain eggplant.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the eggplant and cook over moderately high heat until the bottom browns, 5 minutes. Stir and cook until browned all over, 10 minutes longer. Transfer the eggplant to a bowl.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the onion and celery to the skillet. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the tomato, cover and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
- In a saucepan, simmer the vinegar and sugar to dissolve the sugar. Add the pine nuts and capers and cook for 1 minute.
- Return the eggplant to the skillet. Stir in the vinegar mixture and cook over low heat for 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Pile caponata on bread and add a few crumbles of feta to each open faced sandwich. Warm in microwave for 15 seconds if caponata has already cooled.