Eggplant Caponata

First day of school and I’m already tired. You would think the first week would be easy, but it’s just full of littler errands to run here and there on top of your weekly workload. It’s only 10:30 and I’m already wanting to pass out.

I have a small 4 hour break in between my clinic hours and TA hours on Monday, so it gives me time to whip up something quick for dinner. I quickly scoped out sales at Sprouts, since I needed to go in that area anyways, plus they always have great produce prices. Eggplant and celery were on sale for 0.99 so I couldn’t pass up that offer! They also turned out to be the perfect ingredients for an eggplant caponata – a comfort Italian dish. It mixes with tomatos and red wine vinegar to make a sweet and sour tomato sauce. And even if you don’t have red wine vinegar in the cabinet, it’s really cheap at the store ($2-3/bottle). Add some chili pepper in it to give it a good kick! This a pretty flexible recipe where the main players are eggplant, celery, tomato and red wine vinegar, and many ingredients are optional. I like to add lots of veggies and give a little bit more complex flavors and play on the sweet and sour. Very quick recipe….to give you a scope I started cooking at 5:50 PM and ate dinner was able to rush out of the house by 6:50. Buon Appetito!

Caponata

Eggplant Caponata

Servings: 3-4 servings

Prep time: 20 min, Total time: 40 min

Ingredients

  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (optional)
  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • 1 med eggplant (about 1 pound) – cut into about 1/2″ pieces
  • about 2 tbsp of Tomato Paste
  • Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp Red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
  • 1-2 tbsp Sliced olives or capers (optional)
  • Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Baguette or any bread for serving

Directions:

1. In a wide pot, set to med-high and coat the bottom with olive oil.

2. When hot, saute your onion and celery until onion is just translucent.

3. Add in your garlic and red bell pepper. Saute for about 2-3 minutes.

4. Add in your tomatoes and half your tomato paste. Saute for about 1-2 minutes

5. Slowly incorporate your eggplant. Once it starts to simmer down, add in the rest of your tomato paste, or until everything is well coated. Use to your taste…you can’t use too much here!

6. Season with a good few shakes of italian season. Salt/pepper/ sugar to taste.

7. Keep sauteing the eggplant until soften. Add in your red wine vinegar.

8. Keep it on the heat until eggplant is well done (about 10 -15 min). Sprinkle in your raisin and olives/capers. Season with italian seasoning, salt, pepper and sugar to your taste. You can add in red pepper flakes to give a nice kick.

9. Serve on top of a slice of warm baguette or any kind of bread (I had it on a less fancy wheat toast).

Enjoy!

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