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Any great Eggplant Caponata recipes?

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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.

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  1. 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

      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

      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

        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.
          f
          farmersdaughter

          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. 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. 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!!