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Friday, February 24, 2012

I eatta lotta caponata - a recipe

Something you may or may not know about me is that I like to cook. And every so often, when the moment is right, I like to either concoct things or play off of old recipes and see how they turn out.

Granted, not all dishes come out spectacular but most of them are pretty down-right delicious.

And, after the caponata I just made, it was my father who suggested that I post my recipes to my blog, being that he loved the dish so.

Therefore, I'm going to do my best to be consistent with this, starting with this week's caponata.

Caponata is a sweet and sour eggplant dish that's served cold. There are many variations to it and I didn't have a particular version when I decided to make this dish. Instead, I knew the basics and went from there.

So, in this recipe, I do list a lot of ingredients, but you can add, alter or take out some. Just have fun with it!

Kristian's Caponata

2 large eggplants
olive oil
4 cloves minced garlic (could be more/less)
2 chopped onions
2 cups chopped celery
1 bell pepper (not green)
1 cup sliced black olives (canned or olive bar to taste)
1 cup sliced green olives (jarred or olive bar to taste)
capers (to taste)
1 can anchovies
1/4 cup chopped unsweetened dark chocolate (or cocoa powder)
2 chopped tomatoes
1 can grilled tomato (drained)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dried cranberry
1 cup pine nuts
rice vinegar
balsamic vinegar
nectar (or honey or sugar)

Helpful hint: Dice up the veggies to have them ready to cook up in stages, perhaps by putting the prepared veggies in bowls, etc.

Preparation and cooking time: 1 hour

Directions for the eggplant: Peel and cube both eggplants and toss them in a deep pan set a little higher than medium heat. Pour enough olive oil to lightly coat the eggplant and stir the eggplant every so often until the pieces are soft enough to pierce easily with a fork.
Transfer the eggplant to a large bowl and set aside

Directions for the rest of it: At medium heat, put the garlic and onions in the same deep pan, followed by the can of anchovies (the anchovies will eventually dissolve completely in the heat, but they'll give the onions flavor).
Stir around so that the onions and garlic are coated and set it saute' while covered.
After two minutes or so, you can add the chopped celery and chopped pepper - always stirring a bit and covering.
Let it saute' a few minutes and then begin adding the chopped tomatoes, the canned tomatoes, the chocolate, the raisins and cranberries. Cover and let saute' a few more minutes.
When it appears that the tomatoes have cooked some, you can add all the other ingredients: capers, black and green olives, and pine nuts.
Add back in the eggplant.
Stir a bit and add about 1/4 cup of rice vinegar, a splash of balsamic and a little sugar or nectar (or honey) to taste.

Once it begins simmering again, you can lower the heat and leave uncovered to burn off the excess liquid.

Once cooled, package away and let chill in the fridge for at least a few hours (it will taste better yet after a day or two). You can even add grated cheese, if desired.


1 comment:

  1. Wow. This looks so good. I've never had caponata. (and my husband's Sicilian-I better get on it!) Guess what you're bringing the next time we all get together...