Eggplant Caponata is one of my favorite rustic Italian dishes and in my opinion it is super versatile. Typically served as I did here, cold with crackers or bread, it is also delicious tossed with pasta or over top grilled chicken. This caponata is absolutely delicious!
I think some of the greatest dishes are those that are truly simple and fresh. A handful of ingredients that meld perfectly together to create a delicious dish like this Eggplant Caponata. There are many different variations of this, many including capers BUT seeing as I have a terrible reaction to anything that touches a caper, I leave them out! The basic gist of this dish is that eggplant, celery, bell pepper, Sicilian olives, shallot and tomato simmer until softened then theres the addition of a little sugar and red wine vinegar. It really elevates the flavors and brightness of the caponata.
This dish is typically served cold as a topper to crackers or bread and it is AMAZING! Now I also think this can be used in so many other ways… like eating straight from the pan as I do every time I make it haha! No, seriously though, tossed with pasta or over top grilled chicken this stuff in awesome! This is a great healthy option for an appetizer at any get together… you know to help balance out everything else that might not be so healthy.
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 celery stalk, diced
- 1 large eggplant, diced
- 1 red or orange bell pepper, diced
- 1 shallot, diced
- ¼ cup chopped sicilian olives
- 1- 28 oz can whole peeled San Marzano Tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- a few fresh basil leaves
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- salt & pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add in the eggplant, celery, bell pepper and onion. Sauté until softened. Season with salt and pepper.
- Stir in the olives, tomatoes, basil and oregano. Break up the tomatoes just a bit with a wooden spoon. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally until the mixture has thickened a bit.
- Add in the vinegar and sugar. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve room temp, cold or right of the pan. I served mine cold with an assortment of crackers.
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