Tuesday, May 13, 2008


This is an unlikely recipe for me - I really don't like vegetables that much unless covered with cheese or mixed with carbs like pasta or rice. And eggplant - that's really pushing the envelope! But last year I bought a small but expensive container of caponata from Papa Joe's gourmet grocery store. I loved it, so I did some searching through recipes, and came up with my own version that seems to match their recipe. Note: the measurements are somewhat approximate (are you shocked?) so adjust according to your preference.

The unique element in this version is the golden raisins. Yes, sounds strange, I know, but that little bite of sweet balances the salty of the olives and the bit of heat from the pepper flakes. (This sounds like I've been listening too much to the judges on Top Chef and Iron Chef - sorry!) Trust me - this tastes great and the eggplant taste and texture disappears in the blend of all the other flavors.


1 eggplant, chopped into 3/4 inch chunks
1 onion, chopped
1 red pepper
olive oil
1 - 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 to 3 Tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
kosher salt
fresh cracked pepper
chopped flat leaf parsley

1. Heat a large frying pan and coat with olive oil. Add the eggplant and season with salt. Brown the eggplant until golden, turning several times. (You will probably have to do two batches). Remove from the pan and set aside.
2. Add another drizzle of olive oil to the pan and add the onion and red peppers. Cook until the onion starts to brown and the pepper is softened. Sprinkle with brown sugar and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute.
3. Put the eggplant back into the pan. Add the balsamic vinegar and season with the herbes de Provence and a bit more salt and pepper. Add the olives, raisins, and pine nuts. Top with the parsley before serving.

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