Eggplant Caponata

The beauty of eggplant caponata is certainly, in my opinion, its versatility.  Eaten warm, it can almost be equated to a rich, earthy soup; eaten cold on crackers and it becomes a small and delicous snack or appetizer; of course caponata makes a great pasta sauce, and serves equally well in sandwiches, spread with feta and mint.

In any case, this caponata is easy, healty, and very rich in flavor.  The addition of toasted pine nuts adds a hint of fat and creaminess which rounds everything out nicely.  The serving size of this dish varies; if you're just making it for yourself, you'll probably have leftovers for one more dish.

Bon appetit!

Eggplant Caponata - makes 2-3 servings

2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 small onion, cubed
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3 medium tomatoes, cored
1/4-cup water
1 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp capers, drained
1/4-cup freshly chopped basil
A handful of toasted pine nuts

1.  Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Add the eggplant, onion, and garlic and cook until eggplant has softened, about 15 minutes.
2.  Meanwhile, blanch your tomatoes: place them in boiling water for 30 seconds, then immediately place them in a bowl of ice cold water (this makes it a cinch to peel off the skins).  Remove the tomato skins, and working over a bowl, dice the tomatoes into 1/2-inch pieces.
3.  Add the tomatoes with their juice, water, vinegar, and capers to the eggplant, and simmer, partially covered, until eggplant is very tender, about 15 minutes more.
4.  Stir in the basil; remove from heat and place into a serving bowl.  Top with pine nuts. 

If you're saving this to eat later, stir in the pine nuts and place in the fridge.  Can be stored for 2-3 days.


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