Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Eggplant Caponata

It's rare that someone mentions a type of food or a particular dish and I have never heard of it.   This happened to me recently when I was out with a few girlfriends.  Someone mentioned Caponata and I had no idea what they were talking about.  So the next day I did a litte research and I found a "million" recipes/versions of the Sicilian dish/appetizer Caponata.  I couldn't wait to make it and try it for myself.  I decided on this particular recipe from No Recipes because the combination of ingredients appealed to me the most out of all the recipes that I read.  I really loved the combination of sweet eggplant, smokey roasted peppers, salty capers and tangy balsalmic vinegar.  I brought this to the beach for an appetizer last weekend and everyone loved it.  I will defintely be making this again.
1 medium eggplant peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 Tbs kosher salt (less if you’re using table salt)
1 red bell pepper quartered, seeds removed
1/4 C olive oil
1 small onion chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme
3 Tbs balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs drained capers
1 clove garlic minced
1/4 C leaf parsley, stems removed and chopped

Put the eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with 1 Tbs kosher salt. Toss to coat and leave it over a colander for an hour.

Grill red pepper directly on your BBQ or over a flame on your gas stove top until the skin is charred then wrap in foil or put into a brown paper bag and seal.  Leave the pepper until cool. Trapping the steam like this makes it much easier to remove the skins. When cool, peel the pepper and remove any excessively charred bits. Slice into thin short strips.

When the eggplant is done salting, rinse in a bowl of cold water to remove excess salt. Squeeze the eggplant with your hands to wring out as much moisture as you can.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the onions until until they are translucent and just start turning brown around the edges. Add the eggplant, bell peppers and thyme. Salt and pepper to taste stirring until the eggplant is very soft and starts to loose its shape.

Add the balsamic vinegar and capers and stir until there is no liquid left. Take off the heat and add the garlic and parsley. You can serve this immediately with some crusty bread, but it tastes even better the next day.

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