Italian Tapas For Fiesta Friday #32
Italian tapas, well it’s not really tapas in the truest sense of the word but it certainly can be eaten on small plates and it’s more of a prelude to the actual meal, I thought caponata, some good cheese and bread would be a nice addition to the party this week. Caponata is a Sicilian dish which is used as a side dish or condiment. I can remember my Mother serving on toasted Italian bread as a starter or appetizer. This is my version of my Mothers recipe, its less sweet and the vegetables are soft but still retain their shape.
4 Italian eggplant washed and cut in half lengthwise. Skin on. (Or use 1 large eggplant)
1 Medium size onion chopped
2 Stalks celery (Use the tender inner stalks) chopped
3 cloves garlic minced
1 Red bell pepper de seeded and chopped
4 Fresh tomato’s chopped (I used 1 very large heirloom tomato and 1 smaller heirloom)
1/4 cup capers rinsed, rough chop
1/4 cup Olives Kalamata or green (I use a little of each) Rough chop the olives
2 tsp – 1 tbs organic brown Sugar (add 2 tsp taste and add more if needed)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 450, clean the eggplant cut the tops off and cut in half lengthwise. On baking sheet lined with parchment brush a little olive oil on each half, both sides, place your eggplant cut side down and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Chop the eggplant into bite size pieces.
In fry pan on med/high flame coated with olive oil add your chopped onion, cook until translucent. Add chopped celery and red bell pepper, continue cooking until they are soft and have started to caramelize. Add your minced garlic, cook for a minute or so don’t let garlic brown. Add your eggplant,tomato,capers, olives,crushed red pepper, sugar and vinegar continue cooking until mixture is thick. Eggplant will break down but thats ok this will take about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Let sit overnight. It tastes incredible when it has rested and all the flavors have blended together.