If you are looking for a way to use up a bunch of veggies that are about to spoil or just want to fill your tummy with lots of yummy ( corny, I know) this is it! Caponata is a traditional Sicilian dish that I have modified a little. I added a little heat and use a lot less oil than you will usually find in a canned variety or in a restaurant. This dish is very special. It's a amazing with Joe's Spelt bread ( recipe another time) and with cheese if you eat cheese. We do on rare occasions but we normally don't consume dairy. It does not agree with my body. I will talk about dairy another time as well. When I cook I don't measure anything. I also make things differently every time. So the recipe here is all estimation, but you can tweak it however you like and it will still be good. All the veggies here were from the Old Lyme Farmers Market except for the really cool tiger Roma tomatoes which we found at the Coventry Farmers Market. Both markets are worth the trip but you will sit in traffic for an hour for Coventry unless you get there early.
These are the beautiful tomatoes. You can use any kind of ripe Roma.
You will need:
Several ripened Roma tomatoes ( at least 6 and really soft and ripe)
Several peppers of any variety. Sweet peppers of any color. Half a green Chile or Poblano ( optional)
Two baby eggplants ( I used purple and white)
Fresh garlic at least 4 cloves
Olives of any kind, I used green
Raw cane sugar 1 tspn
Salt and pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Several large fresh basil leaves
This dish is also great with celery, I just didn't have any.
Coarsely chop all the veggies and either crush or finely dice the garlic. Keep tomatoes separate.
In a deep saute pan, add a little oil. When hot, add the onion and peppers. When onions are translucent, add the garlic and being careful not to burn it, add the tomatoes after about 20 seconds. Once these ingredients are bubbling and the tomatoes has fallen apart, add about 1 tbsp of vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Let the vinegar burn off for a few minutes on a higher heat. Add the olives and capers. Add the eggplant. ( No need to salt and sweat baby eggplant ). Add the chopped basil. Mix well. keep on high heat for a few minutes then reduce to simmer and cover.
Cook until all vegetables are tender but not mushy, about 15-20 minutes.
This can be eaten hot or cold. The flavors will be bolder when cold.
This is amazing with bread, over Quinoa or Quinoa pasta, with cheese, with wine.