Monday, September 10, 2012

eggplant caponata

Pin It
DSC07554.jpg
i have never eaten so much eggplant in a year, let alone in a month. we, meaning my farm CSA apparently has had a stellar year for eggplant - add in the one i grew in the garden and i have more eggplant than i know what to do with!

then i remembered an amazing meal justin and i enjoyed on one of out trips to church street in burlington. we found a great little restaurant that sources as many local items as possible and creates all their meals from scratch - that night i went for the eggplant caponata and it was amazing. so i decided i would recreate this dish at home, and you know what - it was even better than i remember.

DSC07510.jpg
this meal comes together pretty quickly  - well in my book anyway.
i love any combination of sweet & savory - and this dish certainly delivers.
eggplant, tomatoes & olives = the savory
dark chocolate & golden raisins = the sweet
DSC07511.jpgDSC07543.jpg
normally, i like to enjoy my caponata tossed with pasta. but in last weeks CSA i had a beautiful baguette tucked away that was made in the farm stands bakery so that's where the caponata made its home.
leftovers were of course tossed with pasta the next day
DSC07545.jpg
traditionally caponata is served at room temp as an appetizer.
i love the freshness the basil and pine nuts add to the final dish.
DSC07553.jpgDSC07548.jpg
DSC07546.jpg
my sister who isn't a big fan of eggplant enjoyed this little nibble just before lunch.
the flavors work so well together you don't even remember the eggplant - well at least i didn't notice an overwhelming presence of eggplant in this dish and i have eaten it for 2 straight weeks with another day's worth stashed in the freezer, only to come out when a quick and easy weeknight meal is called for.
DSC07543.jpgDSC07512.jpg
DSC07562.jpg
for all of you eggplant haters, this dish may very well convert you into a eggplant lover...or at the very least and eggplant "liker".
DSC07558.jpg
Eggplant Caponata
serves 4 - 6 as a main or 24 as an appetizer
you will need:
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large eggplant cut into 1" cubes
2 -3 garlic cloves - minced
2 cups fresh tomatoes
1 cup crushed San Marzano tomatoes
S & P
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup green olives, pitted and roughly chopped
1/3 cup golden raisins
2 tbsp agave, maple syrup or raw honey
1 tbsp finely chopped or grated dark chocolate
Basil
Pine nuts

good crusty bread or pasta

assembly:

heat oil in a large saute pan over medium/high heat - add eggplant and fry tossing occasionally (about 5 minutes) until browned - transfer eggplant to a bowl and set aside.

in the same pan, add tomatoes (fresh & canned), garlic & season with salt & pepper - cook for about 10 minutes or until fresh tomatoes begin to breakdown and tomatoes begin to thicken. add cider vinegar, olives, raisins & sweetener. cook for an additional 10 minutes until mixture thickens. stir in chocolate & reserved eggplant and cook an additional 5-10 minutes until desired thickness has been achieved.

to serve - toss with pasta of choice or serve over crostini, adding basil and pine nuts just before serving.

can be enjoyed at room temp or warm.

enjoy!

Yum

31 comments:

  1. I'm pretty sure it's a sin that I've only eaten eggplant once since it's been available. But! This looks delicious. Must get my hands on an eggplant and serve this over oiled pasta noodles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Serving this over noodles is by far my favorite way of enjoying caponata....but company was over and I had to share :)

      Delete
  2. i od'ed on eggplant two falls ago and haven't eaten it since. but i miss it. this dish looks SO DELICIOUS i must try it. honestly, girl, you make everything on baguette look so.damn.good. you should open a "with baguette" type of restaurant, with lots of different toppings (like this, your bruschetta, etc.). but you'll have to serve gluten-free baguette, too, so dayv and i can visit ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i agree with Caitlin.:) all your on the baguette food looks amazing.. and all your cakes too! so your shop might have to me with baguette and cake:)
      the caponata looks delicious!.. i should try it for hubbs. he is quite picky about eggplants.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Richa! - How about "Cakes & Crostini's" as a name for said little shop :)

      Justin who strongly dislikes eggplant unless it is fried even liked this!

      Delete
    3. Caitlin, I am thinking Richa could supply the Gluten free baquette :)

      ....I have a feeling I will not be enjoying eggplant for a while, I have never eaten so much eggplant as I have this month!

      Delete
    4. oooooh i love cakes and crostinis.. :)

      Delete
  3. Eggplant is that vegetable I feel like I'm *supposed* to like a lot more than I actually do. I'm pretty sure, though, that if you were preparing it, I'd LOVE it :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I totally feel the same way about eggplant, but the more i experiment the more ways i find how to enjoy it!

      Delete
  4. I love eggplants. but I always seem to cook it too much..or not enough. Your recipe looks delicious! I think caitlin is right. I would have a visit also ! And probably try this delicious caponata!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes you should all visit my pretend "Cakes & Crostini" Cafe :)

      Delete
  5. This caponata sounds excellent--and definitely perfect for the early fall eggplant bounty. :) I might try this with some toasted walnuts in place of the crazily expensive pine nuts.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This sounds so crazy. I have never heard of a caponata. I have a few eggplants from the garden, so maybe I will give this a shot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really?! then you definitely need to make this and try this at least once in your lifetime :)

      Delete
  7. I'm kind of in the neutral camp for eggplant. I like it prepared some ways, but whenever I've cooked it myself I was never thrilled with the results. I am intrigued by your recipe though - there's chocolate in there!? I could get on board with that. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was that way for the longest time, only ever having it once in a while- I actaully think before this year I only ever cooked eggplant once!

      The chocolate is a fun element to the dish :)

      Delete
  8. Wow this is so creative! Chocolate with eggplant, how cool! I almost never make eggplant but you are really making me want to!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Gabby - let me know if you give this recipe a try and what you thought!

      Delete
  9. You are the epitome of creative my friend, making such an incredible dish from such versatile ingredients :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    ReplyDelete
  10. Heather this recipe sounds amazing! I'd love to try this just to see how all those amazing flavors would combine :) Your photos are just gorgeous too, I adore them, well done!! Love this post! X

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That means so much coming from you Shira! Thanks for stopping by - I had so much fun "travelling" with you to Paris!

      Delete
  11. I'm kind of neutral about eggplant too, but these photos are making me crave a warm pasta dish with eggplant right now...I would probably eat this over pasta with a side of the crostini too! I'm not sure what to think of that chocolate - it sounds odd, but I would trust you that it works!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mmmm after reading warm pasta I am now craving that! Trust me the chocolate ties everything together :)

      Delete
  12. Looks so delicious!!! I love eggplant but my husband doesn't...but no problem - more for me, hehe. Love your blog, by the way! Found you through Apron and Sneakers blog :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am so happy that you stopped by! on click on your blog and I fell instantly in love - your blog is amazing :)

      ...i am totally in the same boat- Justin is not a fan of eggplant so more for me!....I can't say the same for my cakes though - I literally have to fight him off of those so I can take a pic!

      Delete
  13. Eggplant is pretty much the only thing Chris isn't all that excited about, so I hardly ever use it. I do love a good caponata, though, and I've never had one with chocolate (Pure Genius!!!). I might need to sneak this one in sometime soon (Shhh, don't tell Chris!).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. SAme with Justin, along with a few other "weird" food aversions (asparagus, artichokes)

      You should definitely sneak this in at some point!

      Delete
  14. Just saw some eggplant at the farmer's market and was wondering what I could make with it. These look so super yummy!!! I'm still on the fence about eggplant, but these really look good. I know Jesse would love them. I'll have to make them soon :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was on the fence forever about eggplant - but once I found ways to enjoy it other than parm form I really have been loving it!

      Delete

Thanks for stopping by - your comments make my day!