I watch way too much of the Food Network.
On Saturday, I was watching "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef" and Anne Burrell made Caponata. I had just bought an eggplant the day before and was wondering what to do with it, so this recipe couldn't have come at a better time. It's basically an eggplant stew in tomato sauce. It looked fairly easy to make and I only had to pick up a few things, so I decided to make it on Sunday. In true Tracie fashion, I modified the recipe a bit but I don't think it changed the flavor all that much. I'd definitely make this again; it would be great to bring for a pot luck!
1 large eggplant, peeled, alternating with 1-inch strips of skin left on, cut into 1-inch dice
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
Palm full of chili powder
3 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 tbsp chopped garlic
1 red and 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup water
6oz tomato paste (small can)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup black olives
Palm full of dried mint leaves
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, toss the eggplant generously with olive oil and salt, to taste. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast until the eggplant is soft and mushy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Reserve.
Coat a wide deep pot with olive oil. Toss in the onion and chili powder and season with salt, to taste. Cook over medium-high heat until the onions are soft and aromatic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add the celery and garlic and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the peppers and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes. Add the zucchini, season with salt, to taste, and cook until the zucchini and all the veggies are soft and aromatic and starting to come together as a stew, about 5 to 6 minutes. Toss in the eggplant, 1/2 cup of water and the tomato paste. Cook until the water has evaporated. Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in a small bowl and add it to the mixture. Stir in the olives and mint. Cook for another 5 to 6 minutes.
Let cool and transfer the Caponata to a serving bowl. Serve by itself or over pasta, brown rice, quinoa, a bed of lettuce or bread (as an appetizer).
Serve immediately or even better tomorrow or the next day.
Serves: 6 - 8 People
Original Recipe found here at FoodNewtork.com