This is the potluck/picnic dish people demand I make late summer. You don't need to like eggplant to love this! Amazingly, it is served at room temperature, and keeps for 3 weeks in the refrigerator. I have been carrying this recipe with me since 1977 from the May issue of Bon Appetit, and each time I move, the panic doesn't leave until I locate this recipe again! Rita posted a canning version of this recipe, if you want to enjoy this year-round: Katel's Caponata #462221.
- 2 medium eggplants, whole (cut into 1-inch cubes)
- 2 large onions (chopped)
- 1⁄2 cup olive oil
- 1 1⁄2 cups celery (sliced 1/3-inch thick)
- 2 bell peppers (red or green, cut into 1-inch chunks)
- 2 garlic cloves (chopped)
- 2 1⁄2 lbs tomatoes (peeled, seeded and diced OR 1 28-oz. can Italian plum tomatoes, undrained, cut up)
- 1⁄3 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons salt (or to taste)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1⁄4 cup fresh basil (chopped or 2 Tbsp dried basil)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1⁄2 cup fresh Italian parsley (chopped)
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 3⁄4 cup stuffed green olive (sliced)
- 4 tablespoons capers (drained (optional)
- 2 carrots (thinly sliced (optional)
- 2 medium zucchini (up to 3, sliced)
- 1⁄2 cup pine nuts, lightly browned in
- olive oil
- Cut unpeeled eggplant into 1-inch cubes.
- Heat olive oil in a 5- or 6-quart enameled cast iron casserole or Dutch oven.
- Add eggplant and onions and saute for 5 minutes until lightly golden. (This step can be eliminated to save calories, although the recipe will not be as authentic. If you like, just place raw eggplant and onions in casserole and proceed.
- Add the remaining ingredients to casserole; stir gently but thoroughly and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove lid and simmer for about 10 minutes more or until thick (this will depend on the juiciness of the tomatoes).
- Serve at room temperature in a bowl surrounded by sliced French or Italian bread or as a salad on romaine leaves.
- Will keep, under refrigeration, for 3 weeks.
Chop chop, stir stir, and voila -- a great multi-purpose creation! I used it for a bruschetta style appy. But I can see it would be wonderful over pasta, as a sauce, or stuffing a potato or squash.
My garden is very giving and this is the perfect recipe to use my harvest. I can caponata every year here are some http://www.food.com/recipe-finder/all/caponata?chef=58104. Since I made this to be canned I did make some changes to get the pH level to under 4.5.
I did add 1 tablespoon fresh oregano and 1/2 cup raisins. I used kalamata olives, 6 cups diced eggplant, 2 cups diced zukes. 1/4 cup sugar, 6 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons canning salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, I skipped the tomato paste didn`t have any :( my fault, 1/4 cup capers, oil was used just as much as needed to cook the veggies. I used 1/2 cup of 5 percent vinegar to bring the pH levels for safe canning. Didn't come to were I felt comfortable with the pH so then just to be sure went and added 1/4 cup lemon juice. Didn't add carrots. I used the food processor for many of the veggies to get small. I did simmer for 30 minutes to reduce. Canning 14-1/2 pint jars. Tasty good!
This is SO delicious! I didn't change a thing. I might add just a little heat in the form of a poblano or hot pepper flakes for variety, and/or garnish with feta cheese. but I really thought it was lovely as is.