Eggplant Caponata

In my days working at the Spanish tapas restaurant, this is what I lived off of. You know how pasta sauce tastes better the next day? This is basically like an eggplant relish – good warm, but even better, served cold.

I like to put a heaping of the caponata onto a fresh, crusty piece of Italian bread.

Lately, things have been crazy around here, because Alexa and I are in the process of moving. (You really don’t know how much stuff you have until you move.) We have been surprised at how difficult it has been to use all of the items in our CSA before they go bad, so yesterday when we picked it up, I said I wanted to make one meal, that would use up half of our farm share, for the week.

Because we both work on the weekends, meal prep is key – so not only is this dinner one day and the next but maybe a lunch or two as well – and its soooo good. Trust me you’ll want to eat it until every bite is gone.

In the past when making this beloved summer dish, I have spent countless time roasting the eggplant- while it may make the eggplant a tad softer, after putting together Ikea furniture I wanted something easy, simple, and quick.

I used this caponata recipe as a base, but we definitely added our own flair to it.

What you need:

  1. 1 large or 2 small eggplants,  cut into 3′ cubes – skin left on.

  2. 1 green or red pepper, seeds removed, roughly chopped.

  3. 1/2 a yellow onion, chopped.

  4. 2 Celery Stalks (I used hearts) chopped.
  5. 3 Juicy Tomatoes cut into large chunks.

  6. 1 teaspoon of honey.

  7. 1 teaspoon of salt.

  8. 1/4 cup of red wine vinn.

  9. red chili flake, to taste.

  10. 1 teaspoon dry oregano.

  11. Ground black pepper to taste.

  12. 305 Fresh basil leaves – Some roughly chopped and a couple left whole – for Garnish.

Steps:

  1. On a large frying pan or skillet, add oil on medium-high heat, and then celery. Cook until celery starts to crisp up, about two minutes. Add the onion, and cook for two more minutes, before adding the eggplant. Cook for three minutes, and then add the green pepper. Cook for two more minutes and add the tomatoes. Cook for two to three more minutes. Add the salt, oregano and chili flake, while sautéing for another minute or two.

  2. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for about ten minutes until vegetables (especially the eggplant) is tender.

  3. Remove from heat and stir in the red wine vinegar, honey, the chopped basil, and the black pepper. Caponata can be eaten now, or tomorrow – hot or cold.

I am really kicking myself for not taking more pictures, but we were super hangry after putting together ikea furniture for a few hours! Anyways, we were so happy to use over 7 of our farmshare vegetables for this meal! Delicious.

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