Monday, August 9, 2010


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
Kosher salt
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


  1. Wow, that looks great, Tracie! I am going to have to try this.

    Do you have any tips for making Quinoa? I have made it a few times, and rinsed it, but it always seems so bitter to me. I know how good it's supposed to be for you though :-)

  2. Thanks!

    What brand do you usually use? I know that some brands have a bit of a different flavor than others. I've been using Eden Organic but I recently got a huge bag from Costco (Earthly Delights Organic) so I'll be using that next time.

    Do you have a rice cooker? I've cooked it both on the stove and in the rice cooker and the rice cooker seems to give it a bit of a different taste.

    I usually use 1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water. Then when it's done, add a bit of salt and pepper, to taste.

  3. That's interesting that the rice cooker would affect the flavor. Usually when I've made it, it has an odd bitter aftertaste. I usually make my whole grains either on the stove or baked. I have used the Eden Organic and the Red Mill (? I think), as well as some bought from our Amish-run bulk foods store in the area (we live way out in the country). The bulk foods kind of course came with no brand name on it. There didn't seem to be a noticeable difference in the flavors.

    I've never thought to try a rice cooker. I may need to invest! I know I love my crock pot for making beans!

    Some great recipes on here. Thanks!