Recipe Detail Caponata I

Caponata I

Ingredients :
2 pound eggplant, cut in
to 1-inch cubes 1/4 cupextra virgin olive oil, more, if necessary 2 eachgarlic cloves
, mashed 1mdred onion, peeled cut in half, and sliced 2cupcelery, sliced 2cuptomatoes, ripe paste eg. Roma, chopped
3 eachbay leaves, (or more) (break dried leaves in 2 or 3 pieces; finely chop leaves after, fresh removing petiole & midrib 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar, or more to taste 2 tablespoon capers, small or large ones chopped
1/2 cuppitted kalamata olives, or other brine-cured olives coarsely chopped
1salt 1 pepper, freshly ground   -GARNISH- 1/4 cupbasil, fresh sliced thinly at the last minute 3 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted or chopped
walnuts 1parsley, chopped

Place the eggplant cubes in a colander and sprinkle them generously
with salt. Let stand at least 1/2 hour; rinse well under cold water,
drain, and pat dry with paper towels.

Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
Gradually add the eggplant, stirring constantly. Add more oil as
needed to keep the eggplant from sticking.

As soon as all the eggplant is in the pan, gradually add the garlic,
onion and celery. Cook until hot through but not browned, keeping
the heat as high as possible. Stir in the tomatoes, bay leaves,
vinegar, capers, and olives. Mix well and lower the heat to simmer.
Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the eggplant is tender and
the flavor is well developed.

Season the caponata with salt, pepper, and additional vinegar as
needed. Add basil leaves, nuts, and parsley. Serve hot, at room
temperature, or chilled.

Variation: Add chopped
anchovies, chunks of fish or shellfish, ham,
italian sausage, or other cooked meat vegetables in the last
few minutes of cooking time.


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