Sunday, April 11, 2010

Eggplant Caponata with Goat Cheese

This dish is intensely flavored and has somewhat of a sweet-and-sour combination with the eggplant, tomato and other fresh garden vegetables. I had this at the Purple Pig the other day and have been trying to recreate it ever since.

Some Important Rules for Caponata:

The three most important things for amazing caponata are to make sure that:

A combination of eggplant, tomatoes, and celery are present as they are significant to both the taste and texture.

Always use olives, vinegar, and sugar to create the sweet-and-sour balance.

Coponata needs at least 24 hours for the flavors to set, after which you can experience and adjust them.

Serving Suggestions:

• On field greens or crusty bread spread with some goat cheese

• In or on top of an omelet

• Mixed with a pasta linguine and some shredded parmesan cheese

• Served as a side dish with poultry

• Serve with a ricotta


• 1/4 cup olive oil

• 1 medium eggplant, 1/2” chopped

• 1/2 cups chopped onions, 1/2” dice

• 1/2 cup celery, 1/2” dice

• 2 cups chopped tomatoes, 1/4” dice

• 1 cup chopped summer squash, 1/2” dice

• 1/2 cup chopped green or red pepper, 1/2” dice

• 2 tablespoons minced garlic

• Dash of red wine or more – to your taste

• 2 tablespoons tomato paste

• 1/4 cup wine vinegar

• 1/3 cup stuffed green olives, sliced in half

• 1/4 cup capers, drained except for 1 tablespoon juice

• 1 tablespoon sugar

• 1/4 minced parsley

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a large saucepan heat the olive oil. Add eggplant and onions over medium-high heat for 12 minutes. Add celery, tomatoes, squash, and garlic and cook for about 12 minutes more minutes. Stir intermittently. Add all other ingredients, cover, lower heat, and simmer for 25 minutes. Stir once or twice during the cooking time. Cool. Refrigerate for 24 hours and taste to adjust the balance.

Serve with crusty bread covered in goat cheese.

Bon Appetit!