Sunday, April 25, 2010

Eggplant Caponata with Crostini

In about a month I'll be catering a vegan graduation party (congratulations, Rachel!), so I prepared some eggplant caponata and olive tapenade for a tasting tomorrow.  Both are recipes that need to be prepared at least a day in advance so that the flavors have time to blend together.

It's amazing how such simple ingredients can create such a robust flavor after slowly simmering in a pot.  My secret ingredient for the caponata is sundried tomatoes, which add that little umami kick.  So delicious.  And I use an aged balsamic vinegar instead of the traditional red wine vinegar for a little sweetness.  I love this recipe, and I'm sure it will be even more delectable tomorrow.

Eggplant Caponata
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium eggplant, 1/2” dice, about 3 cups
1 cup chopped onions, 1/2” dice
1 cup chopped cherry tomatoes, cut in quarters
1/8 tsp hot red pepper flakes
2 cloves minced garlic
2 Tbl tomato paste
3 Tbl balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup green olives, sliced
2 Tbl capers
1-2 Tbl maple syrup
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the eggplant, onions and a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes and garlic and cook for about 10-15 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining ingredients, bring to boil, cover, lower heat, and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Remove the pan lid if the mixture becomes too wet (this is supposed to be the consistency of a relish, and it’s okay if the eggplant becomes mushy).  Refrigerate for a day, and taste to adjust the tart-sweet balance by adding a touch more maple syrup or vinegar.  Serve at room temperature as a spread for Crostini garnished with fresh parsley.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the eggplant caponata recipe. I can't wait to try it.