Oct 132018

When the garden started producing lots of eggplant, I started experimenting with caponata since I really like vegetable chutneys. But since it’s me, I failed to follow a recipe in any way. So this is a very non-traditional caponata that tastes excellent on crusty bread or pita.

I did start with recipes from Smitten Kitchen and Bon Appetit, augmenting them for the flavors I like. I really liked Smitten Kitchen’s inclusion of pine nuts for some textural contrast, but I didn’t have celery or olives, so I included peppers for flavor and reduced the onion a bit. I also changed up the flavors a bit with paprika and parsley.

I made a large batch of this for a party and it was one of the favorites.


Yields 1
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  1. 1 ½ lb/750g eggplant, cut in ¾” chunks
  2. ½ lb/250g red onion (1 medium), diced finely
  3. ~ 1 ¼ lb/600g tomato, diced
  4. ~ ¼ lb/150g mild peppers (red or yellow bell, gypsy pepper, etc.), cut in ½” pieces
  5. ½ c/90g golden raisins
  6. 3 tbsp/45ml capers (in vinegar)
  7. ½ tsp/3ml paprika
  8. 4 tbsp/60 ml lemon juice
  9. ¾ tsp/4ml salt
  10. ½ tsp/3ml pepper
  11. 2 tsp/ chopped parsley
  12. ¼ c chopped basil
  13. 1 tbsp/15ml red wine vinegar
  14. ¼ c pine nuts
  15. Olive oil for frying eggplant
  1. In a large pan, heat ½” of olive oil on high. Add eggplant (in batches as necessary), so that none of the pieces overlap.
  2. Fry for 3-5 minutes, turning pieces regularly so that most of sides become browned and crisped.
  3. Remove from pan and allow to drain on paper towels. Add more oil as necessary to maintain about ½” in the pan (the eggplant absorbs some as it cooks).
  4. Once all eggplant is cooked, remove most of the oil from the pan so that it is just lightly coated. Reduce heat to medium.
  5. Sauté the onion until just starting to soften and turn opaque, 2-3 minutes. Add the tomato and sauté for a further 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  6. Reduce heat to med-low. Add peppers, raisins, capers, and paprika and simmer for 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in eggplant and remaining ingredients. Transfer to a covered bowl and allow to settle in fridge for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Twists & Zests http://twistsandzests.com/

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