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Any great Eggplant Caponata recipes?

p.j. Feb 2, 2005 10:15 AM

Hi Chowhounds. I enjoy reading this board--I am so impressed with the serious home cooking that you all seem to find the time to do. Wow!

Even though it is not eggplant season, I was wondering if any of you make your own caponata, and would be willing to share your recipe? I am in the mood, and think it would be a good Sunday afternoon-pre Super Bowl project.
Thanks! p.j.

  1. v
    ValL Feb 2, 2005 10:31 AM

    Wow, I had the same craving and made some last week. I had a recipe but lost it. I didnt have a small quantity of homemade sauce but I managed, it turned out well. I went from memory but this is what I ended up using:

    2 stalks celery sliced thin, 1 finely diced med. onion, 2 diced med red peppers , 2 garlic cloves which I saute till tender, not soft, remove from pan. I used 2 large eggplant, cubed and cooked until soft but not mushy. I remove that and added 1 can tomato paste and about a cup of jarred! sauce, about 2 tsp vinegar and a dash of sugar, use your personal taste here. Let that cook for a few minutes and return everything to sauce. Then I added about half cup or so of black olives sliced then halved same with green olives and a tablespoon or so of capers. Cook until tender or your desired consistency. Its whatever your tastes are like, add more or less of what you want. I googled and saw some with raisins, pignolis etc, more on the vinegar etc. Enjoy it!

    1 Reply
    1. re: ValL
      p.j. Feb 2, 2005 03:22 PM

      Thanks, ValL!
      Your recipe sounds delicious. Wish I had time and ingredients to make some tonight. I like your suggestions re. pignoles (I have a bag in the freezer) and raisins (golden ones sound good to me).

      I think I will also pick up a new box of Trader Joe's TLC (Tender Little Crackers). They are whole grain and crispy good.
      If only the Packers were playing Sunday night. Sigh.

    2. f
      farmersdaughter Feb 2, 2005 01:41 PM

      I made Mario Batali's caponata for a dinner party and it was a huge hit! Doesn't have capers or olives but there's no reason you can't add one of them if you would like. It keeps very well.

      Link: http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

      2 Replies
      1. re: farmersdaughter
        p.j. Feb 2, 2005 03:17 PM

        Thanks, farmersdaughter!
        Yes, I really like capers & olives in caponata, and will add them in.
        Mario's recipe for un-fried eggplant parmesan sounds good as well!
        Thanks again!

        1. re: p.j.
          farmersdaughter Feb 2, 2005 04:23 PM

          The eggplant parmigiana from that Molto Mario episode is fantastic, as is the polpettone of butternut squash from that same episode (I make the polpettone as an entree for a light dinner, along with a green salad and some good bread).

      2. j
        Jim H. Feb 2, 2005 06:57 PM

        The trick to good caponata is to cook the diced eggplant first, making sure it is well browned. The taste of raw eggplant ruins the dish. I also use Thai fish sauce instead of anchovies. Canned diced tomatoes work fine.

        1. m
          melissa Feb 3, 2005 11:37 AM

          I love the one from Viana La Place's "Verdura" cookbook, which is all great, easy, fresh vegetable-based recipes. Here is my paraphrased version: Saute 1 eggplant, diced, in a few tbsp olive oil (it says to salt and drain but i don't always do it) for 10 minutes, drain on paper towels. Meanwhile, cook 3 sliced stalks celery in boiling water for 8 minutes, drain. Peel and core a firm ripe pear, cut into small dice. In a few more tbsp olive oil, add half of a 28 oz can italian tomatoes and simmer a few minutes, add pear, salt and pepper, cook about 5 min. add celery, 2 tbsp capers, 20 black olives (halved and pitted), 5 tbsp red wine vinegar and 2 tbsp sugar. cook 15 min, until thickened. add eggplant, stir, cook 10 min. let cool and refrigerate several hours or overnight, serve sprinkled with 3 tbsp chopped toasted almond slivers. It lasts a week in the fridge. enjoy!!

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