Eggplant made elegant

January 31, 1996|By Steve Petusevsky | Steve Petusevsky,FORT LAUDERDALE SUN-SENTINEL

Everyone's mother always has a favorite recipe that is appropriate for all occasions. My mother's is an eggplant mixture called caponata.

You can use caponata as a dip, sandwich filling with mozzarella or Provolone cheese on top and then baked, or as a pizza topping, omelet filling or pasta sauce.


Makes 6 servings

2 medium unpeeled eggplants, washed and cut into 1/2 -inch dice (2 1/2 pounds total)

1 tablespoon kosher salt, for soaking

3 tablespoons pure olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

5 stalks celery, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 (3-ounce) can tomato paste

1/2 cup warm water

1 1/2 tablespoons natural (unbleached) sugar crystals or sugar

1/2 cup red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar

1 1/2 tablespoons drained capers

1/2 cup green olives stuffed with pimentos, chopped

1/2 teaspoon fresh black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes, optional

salt, to taste

Place eggplant in a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with kosher salt. Let eggplant sit for about 1 hour to remove any bitter flavor. Rinse the eggplant and pat dry with paper towels.

In a large nonreactive skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add the eggplant and saute 4 to 5 minutes or until eggplant softens. Add the onions, celery and garlic and saute 3 minutes.

Dilute the tomato paste with warm water and pour over the sauteed vegetables. Simmer 15 minutes. Add the sugar, vinegar, capers, olives, black pepper and dried red chili flakes if a spicier version is desired; simmer 5 minutes. Season with salt. Remove from heat, let cool and then transfer to a nonreactive container, cover and refrigerate overnight.

Nutrition per serving: 128 calories, 2 grams protein, 9 grams fat, 13 grams carbohydrates, no cholesterol, 756 milligrams sodium, 60 percent calories from fat.)

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.