Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Caponata



Caponata is commonly made with eggplants. Some with just peppers. Some call it Garbage, that's really the name! Some call it eggplant dip. Sicilians will keep on arguing about which  is the true caponata. Some traditional recipes use tomato paste rather than chopped tomatoes. Some add garlic, others chocolate (or cocoa). Many recipes contain nuts – almonds or pine nuts or pistachio, in others herbs are added – sometimes basil, at other times oregano or mint. Certain recipes also include raisins or currants and some, fresh pears. The principal and most common flavorings that characterise a Sicilian caponata are: the celery, capers, green olives and the sweet and sour, caramelized sauce made with vinegar and sugar. Either way it's just good!




Ingredients:


1 Large Eggplant sliced in half length wise
2 tbs butter
1 tsp olive oil
1 carrot chopped 
2 large cloves of garlic chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 whole bell pepper chopped
2 stalks of celery chopped
2 whole tomatoes chopped
1/2 cup capers
3/4 cup green olives chopped
1 roasted pepper chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup white wine
2 tbs sugar
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 tsp Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup parmesan cheese




Preparation Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Lightly Oil eggplant halves and place on cookie sheet meat side down. Cook 10 minutes or until done. Lower heat to 350. Let cool about 10 minutes then scoop out and dice up eggplant.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the carrots, celery, bell pepper, onions, garlic and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add roasted pepper and tomatoes and continue to cook until soft.
Stir in capers, olives, lemon juice, vinegar and wine, and eggplant pieces, continue cooking another 2 minutes. Add italian seasoning and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and let cool. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve at room temperature with torn bread or crackers.

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