I posted this recipe for Caponata years ago and I am afraid it’s been a long time since I have made it. This came about partly because I had gone a little overboard during my last visit to the farmers market, I tend to do that every time I go and I think I have mentioned this before but I hate to waste food. My Mom used to serve Caponata from time to time, usually it was purchased from the Italian supermarket commercially prepared. I liked it but thought it was too sweet, the basic idea is wonderful and it makes a delicious condiment slathered on some good bread. It really is so delicious. I think of Caponata as the Italian ratatouille. Its very easy to make, you can add what you like and subtract what you don’t.
Makes 1 quart
2 medium size eggplant stem end cut and sliced in half
2 cups chopped tomato or cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 small onion chopped
1 shallot chopped
2 stalks celery
3 cloves garlic minced
2 bell peppers medium size (I used a purple and red)
1/4 cup capers
pinch (or more) crushed red pepper flakes
pitted olives – didn’t measure but a generous handful cut in half if large
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tsp sugar
Heat oven to 425 degree’s. Line baking sheet with parchment. Brush the eggplant with olive oil on both sides. Place on baking sheet cut side down and roast for 15 minutes. They should be browned on the cut side but not mushy. Cut the eggplant into bite size pieces and set aside.
Heat some olive oil in a skillet and add the onion, cook until softened, add the celery and pepper and cook until soft and fully cooked. Add the tomatoes, capers, olives, crushed red pepper and continue cooking until the tomatoes are cooked through, add the eggplant, vinegar and sugar and cook until thick and most of the liquid from the tomatoes is reduced. Spoon into storage containers let come to room temperature and then refrigerate. I find it’s always better served the next day and served at room temperature.