Sauteed eggplant, peppers and onion with capers, olives and fresh tomato. Seasoned with garlic, celery seed, a touch of sweet and a touch of heat. Use for bruschetta!
Makes 2 cups
2 T. margarine
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 c. fresh cubed eggplant, 3/8 inch cubes, no larger – use your ruler
½ t. salt
1 jumbo green pepper, cored and diced into 3/8 inch squares
2 sm. yellow onions; cut off ends, cut in half from end to end, peel, then cut crosswise into ¼ inch wide half rings
1 sweet red roasted pepper, cut into 3/8 inch squares
½ can (5-3/4 dr. wt) jumbo black olives, rinsed, drained; cut each olive in quarters from end to end, then crosswise into 3rds
1 sm. fresh tomato, cored and cut into ½ inch cubes
1 heaping T. lg. capers, rinsed and drained
½ t. garlic powder
¼ t. celery seed
1 t. sugar
½ t. red pepper flakes
In large skillet, over medium-high heat, melt margarine and oil. Add eggplant and salt. Toss to coat. Let it cook while you cut the pepper.
Add green pepper to skillet. Stir.
Cut the onion and add to skillet. Stir and sauté till all veggies are lightly browned, about 5 minutes more. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low and cook till all veggies are soft.
Add remaining ingredients. Stir well. Cook on low heat, stirring often, till tomato softens to nearly mush. Salt to taste. Remove from heat and let set at room temperature till ready to use.
Notes: If you cut the eggplant too large, it won’t soften properly, so keep it small, very small. This isn’t a ratatouille, it’s a caponata.
Red pepper flakes are the dried seeds of hot red peppers. Don’t over-do it; I say this from experience.
The best way to serve this caponata is on sliced French baquette, about ½ inch thick. Broil till golden brown on one side. Remove from broiler. On the soft sides (not broiled) brush extra virgin olive oil. Top with a tablespoon of caponata in the center of each. You really don’t need a garnish. If anything, garnish the plate, not the bruschetta.
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