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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Eggplant Caponata

I just got back from a two day trip to Chicago.  Got to stay at a lovely hotel with a really nice view of the lake.  Here's the view from my room:

The biggest problem is that I worked most of the day on Tues, drove up to Chicago, checked in, changed clothes, went down to the lobby to meet my colleagues for cocktails and dinner, came back up to the room and crashed, got up early, took a shower, got dressed, went downstairs and found the meeting room, spent all day in a board meeting, went back up to the room, packed, checked out and drove back to Indy...  So much for the lovely view, eh?  Actually, the best part of the trip was getting to see some dear friends from all over the US.  The board is made up of some of the nicest and smartest folks I've ever met.  And, some of the guys brought their wives so we got to catch up.  So, now it's back to reality and work...

Last weekend, we made the Eggplant Caponata from Food and Wine.  The ingredient list sounds a bit weird but the end result is terrific.  Food and Wine had this listed as a Condiment.  Really?  It's a tremendous side dish also.  The caponata can be served on it's own or on bruschetta or as a sauce for pork or chicken.  It's incredibly versatile. 

We loved this version because of it's bright taste.  I've had caponata before that was gummy or too sweet and sour.  This was the perfect balance of flavors and texture.  In fact, one of the things I've been working on is the menu for the big holiday party.  I immediately added this to the list.  And, I think I'll have to test it a couple of times in between :-)

Remember, Food and Wine is giving one lucky reader of Kate's Kitchen a year's subscription to the magazine.  If you don't take it and don't win, think about subscribing.  It's one of my absolute favorites and has been for years.  You can also subscribe - at no cost, free is almost always good! - to The Dish which is Food and Wine's email missive.  My most recent issue had 15 pizza recipes.  The one before, 15 vegetarian recipes.  In return for posting four recipes a week inspired by Food and Wine, I've received a year's subscription to Food and Wine.

Eggplant Caponata


3/4 lb eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2" dice
2 T golden raisins
2 1/2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 celery rib, finely diced
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2" dice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely minced
1/2 T tomato paste
1 medium tomato, cut into 1/2" dice
2 T chopped pitted green olives
1/2 T capers
1/2 T sherry vinegar
freshly ground pepper


Put the eggplant cubes in a colander and sprinkle them with salt.  Let them drain for 30 minutes.  See how the eggplant is shimmering with the liquid it's releasing?

Rinse well with cold water, squeeze out any excess water and pat the cubes dry.

Soak the raisins in hot water for about 10 minutes.  Drain them well.

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saucepan.  Cook the onion and celery over medium heat just until they're softened.  That'll take about 4-5 minutes. 

Add the red bell pepper, garlic and jalapeno.  Cook another 4-5 minutes until they're softened. 

Add the tomato paste and cook until it's shiny.  Then, add the tomato and cook until it starts to break down. 

Remove the mixture to a bowl. 

Heat another tablespoon of olive oil until it's shimmering.  Add the eggplant and cook for about 7-8 minutes until it's a bit browned and very tender. 

Add the eggplant to the bowl.  Add the rest of the ingredients and mix. 

This is really best served at room temperature. 

adapted from Food and Wine

FOOD and WINE is giving away a year-long subscription to a lucky reader from Kate's Kitchen. Click here to enter and read official rules here.

This post is part of a series featuring recipes from the FOOD and WINE archive. As a FOOD and WINE Blogger Correspondent, I was chosen to do four recipes a week from FOOD and WINE. I received a subscription to FOOD and WINE for my participation.


VegSpinz said...

I still have eggplant in my garden- I will definitely try this!

Winelady Cooks said...

Hi Kate,

One of my favorite childhood dishes, this recipe is very similar to my grandmother's recipe, except for the red peppers.

I always make this for the holidays. It's easy to make in advance and it tastes better a day or two after the flavors blend together.

Thanks for sharing.
P.S. Thanks for the contest opportunity.

Evan @swEEts said...

I love everything about eggplant.. this looks fabulous! I've never been to Chicago but that view is great.. I really need to go so I can eat some yummy pizza

Wendy said...

We're on the same wavelength, Kate...I just posted a recipe for eggplant caponata too :)! I've never bought or cooked with an eggplant before last territory for me. The combo of flavors works nicely, though!

The Cilantropist said...

I was just at the grocery store and eggplants were on sale but when I was there I didnt feel inspired... the minute I saw your post I knew I should have bought it! What a simple, healthy recipe, love it! :)

Anonymous said...

I have a few left over eggplant from the garden, so thanks for this!