Friday, August 14, 2009

EGGPLANT CAPONATA (Sicilian origins)

This recipe comes from a class I took in Sicily in 2006. The chef did it speaking Sicilian and I just watched and took notes. When I came home, I compared it to other recipes I had and ended up with this one. So its mine, but its a composite of a few other versions I found in my cookbooks.

What is Caponata? Well, its a Sicilian cooked vegetable salad made from chopped fried eggplant and celery seasoned with sweetened vinegar, and capers in a sweet and sour sauce.

You serve it with some type of bread or cracker.

Eggplant Caponata (Appetizer for fall usually. Great at Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years.)

2 large eggplants (Large ones) 
   This cooks down in size quickly. Cube, salt, drain for 30 min.  Rinse, drain.
    Sauté in Olive oil for 10 minutes until tender, set aside
2 med. Green Zucchini cubed (large ones)  
     Sauté in oil olive add to eggplant
1 green pepper chopped up
1 red pepper chopped up
1/2 med. Onion sliced thin and chopped
    Sauté above in oil olive until tender
Add to eggplant mixture and toss. 
In a separate saucepan, mix the following and bring to low simmer on stove.

1/4 cup sugar
2 T. honey
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
1 can tomato paste (I used 1/2 to a whole small can)
1 can of whole tomatoes, seeded and chopped up
After 10 minutes add the following to the sugar mixture:

1/4 cup Pine nuts
2 to 3 Bay leaves
1/4 cup Raisins ( could handle more)
1/4 cup capers (also could handle more)
a few red pepper flakes ( do not overdo)
8 sliced green olives or more
1/3 cup chopped celery

        Cook for another 5 minutes. Pour on eggplant. 
        Mix together.

Salt and pepper to taste.
More Olive oil if needed.
Refrigerate overnight.

Separate portions in plastic bags and freeze for future use.

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