Caponata

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This classic Sicilian dish is the perfect way to use up summer's bounty of fresh garden vegetables. Eggplant, red peppers and tomatoes marinate together to make a delicious salad, sandwich or crostini topping. My grandmother used to make this for my Mom and her siblings when they were little. She would serve it to them as lunch in the summer time! 

 Caponata served over crostini

Caponata served over crostini

The dish is rather simple to make and comes together in about 30 minutes. I like making big batches of it so we can nosh on it all week. I'll eat it on crostini for lunch, while my husband uses it as a sandwich spread on top of cold cuts! However you serve it it's a delicious way to get in loads of fresh vegetables. 

 Caponata is a traditionally Sicilian dish of roasted eggplant, peppers and tomatoes. 

Caponata is a traditionally Sicilian dish of roasted eggplant, peppers and tomatoes. 

Caponata
Serves 8 as an appetizer

1 large eggplant, cubed
4 tbs olive oil, separated
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbs. tomato paste
2 whole tomatoes, chopped
1 roasted red pepper, chopped
1 tsp. honey
2 tbs. capers
salt
pinch red pepper flakes
1 tbs. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley, for serving
crostini for serving

 Caponata

Caponata

Preheat oven to 400°. Toss cubed eggplant with 2 tbs olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Spread in an even layer on a cookie sheet and roast until tender and browned in spots. About 20 minutes. Stir the eggplant after 10 minutes. 

Heat 1 tbs. olive oil in a large saute' pan. Add in the red onion and cook for 5 minutes until soft. 

Add in garlic, stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Then add in tomato paste. Allow to cook until the paste begins to brown and stick to the pan in spots. 

Add in fresh tomatoes and use their juices to scrape up any browned bits from the pan. Cook the mixture until the tomatoes are soft and start to break apart, about 10 minutes. 

Next add in roasted red peppers and honey and mix. 

Scrape eggplant from the cookie sheet and add to the mixture. Mix well and then turn off the heat. Leave the pan on the hot burner and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. 

Add in the capers and season the caponata with salt and red pepper flakes. Dress the mixture with the final tablespoon of olive oil and the red wine vinegar.  

Serve warm or at room temperature over crostini. Top with fresh parsley. 

Buon Appetito!