No meat, No wheat

Posts tagged ‘Eggplant’

CAPONATA

CAPONATA

Caponata 3

This sweet, spicy, mildly fiery eggplant dish is fabulous because it both delicious and versatile.  Made from fresh ingredients like eggplant, garlic, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and spices, Caponata is a crowd pleaser that can be enjoyed either hot or cold, and therefore natural for Passover gatherings. I make this dish year round; it’s a favorite at barbecues, on Shabbos, and for snacks, and I always make a lot because if I’m lucky, we’ll have leftovers. People seem to love this one. This caponata is so good; you can spread onto gluten free matzo or gluten free crackers;  enjoy with cut up veggies; it’s great warm with a salad or as an appetizer course.  Because eggplant chunks are usually bursting with flavor,  Caponata is a wonderful choice as a main course or can serve as a side dish on your holiday table.  This always goes over well in my house.  Ingredients

  • One large, or two small eggplants, (peeled, if desired) cut into two-three inch chunks and salted
  • One large onion
  • One large pepper or two small peppers
  • Four-six garlic cloves, depending on your preference for garlic
  • Olive oil to sauté vegetables, 6 Tablespoons
  • One cup Pomi strained tomatoes (or any brand of strained tomatoes or small can of tomatato paste will do)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Vinegar, 2 Tablespoons
  • Oregano, 2 Tablespoons
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, pinch
  • Brown Sugar, 2 Tablespoons
  • Olives, black or green ( optional )
  • Capers (optional)

Supplies

  • Colander
  • Cast iron pot with lid
  • Wooden spoon

Instructions Cut eggplant into chunks and peel, if desired. The eggplant will become very soft as it cooks, but some people don’t like the skins left on, so whether or not you’ll peel your eggplant is a matter of personal preference. Begin by placing the cut up eggplant chunks in a colander, and sprinkle with salt. This step helps draw out any bitterness in the seeds. Leave the eggplant and salt for at least 20 minutes, and assemble the rest of your ingredients. Peel and chop your onion and garlic. De-seed and chop your pepper. None of the vegetables have to be minced or even chopped finely. Small chunks are fine. Get the oil hot in your cast iron pot and add the garlic, onion, and pepper and sauté for five minutes.  Rinse the eggplant thoroughly and pat dry with a paper towel and add to the pot. Eggplant really soaks up oil, so don’t be surprised if you think you should add oil, just do it slowly, about 1-2 Tablespoons at a time. Stir and cook eggplant along with your other vegetables until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the strained tomatoes or paste, then  1/8 cup hot water and stir that in along with the vinegar, sugar, and oregano. Stir it all together with your wooden spoon.  Keeping the lid on, simmer gently for another 20 minutes, until the eggplant is extremely tender, and all of the flavors are combined. Remove the lid and check that the chunks of eggplant are soft enough to eat, and when they are, add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and stir to distribute them evenly through your pot.  If using olives and capers, they can be added in when the rest of the vegetables are fully cooked. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. Enjoy and  Please write and tell me what you think!

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