Thursday, January 18, 2007

Caponata

This versatile recipe comes from The Victory Garden Cookbook, which is really a must-have book if you can find a copy.  It has tons of recipes you will find interesting and useful.  Check out the reviews at Amazon if you don't believe me.

Caponata
Adapted from The Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash

7 to 8 cups

2 pounds eggplant
Salt
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup peeled, seeded, and chopped tomatoes
½ cup pitted, halved green olives*
¼ cup rinsed and drained capers
1 tablespoons pine nuts
⅓ cup red wine vinegar heated in a small pan or in the microwave with 1 tablespoon sugar dissolved in it

Peel the eggplant, and cut it into 3/4 inch cubes. Salt the cubes, and let them drain in a colander over a plate or in the sink for for about 30 minutes. Shake the colander, and remove the eggplant cubes from the colander onto a kitchen towel or paper towels, then pat dry. Heat half of the oil in large frying pan, and sauté half the eggplant cubes until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Remove the eggplant from the frying pan to a strainer or the colander you used, and let them drain. Add the remaining oil to the frying pan, and sauté the rest of the eggplant, and drain as above.

In the same oil (add an additional 2 tablespoons of oil, if necessary), sauté the onions and celery until just tender. If your frying pan doesn't have a cover or isn't big enough to hold all the ingredients, put the eggplant, onions, and celery into a different pot, then add the tomatoes. (You could probably start everything in a LeCreuset so you don't have to transfer. I have the pot they call a risotto pot - it's 6.25 quarts, I think, and I like it very much and find it's a most useful size.) Cover the pot, and cook for 4 or 5 minutes, then uncover, and cook for 5 minutes more. Add the eggplant, olives, capers, and pine nuts to the pot. Pour the vinegar/sugar mixture over the vegetable mixture cooking in the pot. Cover, and simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste, and cool.

Serve at room temperature or cold.

*If you want some black olives in here, add them, but don't completely replace the green olives with them because the taste of the green olives are really important in this recipe.

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1 comment:

  1. Okay, I'm guessing, are the green olives important because they somehow balance the taste of the dish? I don't like green olives.
    What happens to the dish if you don't use them?

    ReplyDelete