When you have a bounty of tomatoes and eggplants (pretty much most weeks in the New England summer CSA), caponata is a great option. Start your eggplants on the grill for an added smoky flavor. This is a versatile recipe that is equally delicious warm as a pasta sauce or cooled to a room temperature spread. (I enjoyed this batch both ways!)
- 1 lb eggplants
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 c onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 lb tomatoes, chopped into large pieces
- 3 tbsp. capers
- 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 c fresh parsley, chopped
- Prepare eggplants for grilling. With smaller varieties, such as Fairy Tale, slice lengthwise. For larger varieties, such as Bell, cut into 1 to 1 1/2" slices. Lightly brush with olive oil, then grill until just softened.
- When eggplant is almost finished on grill, heat olive oil in large (10-12") saute pan. Cook garlic and onion over medium-low heat. Stir frequently to avoid over-browning.
- As garlic and onion cook, diced grilled eggplant into approximately 1" pieces. Add to pan, cook 5 minutes.
- Add chopped tomatoes and cook until juices just begin to seep from tomatoes. Add capers, vinegar, sugar, and salt and cook additional 5-10 minutes.
- Just before finished cooking, add chopped parsley.
- If using as spread, remove from heat at this point, cool, then refrigerate overnight. Bring back to room temperature before serving.
- If using as pasta sauce, add 1 lb of just-cooked al dente pasta (short shapes, like penne or orrechiette, are ideal) to caponata mixture. Cooking additional minute until pasta begins to absorb sauce. Remove from heat, dish into bowls, and top with fresh mozzarella.