Eggplant Caponata

If I'm not too late I would like to join the weekly plantbased cooking challenge which has six items to choose from. I chose eggplant, sweet potato and herbs as greens.

For this I will travel to Sicily by making a Sicilian dish called Caponata.

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There are different ways that this dish is made. Like in any culture, each family and area may add, take away or substitute certain ingredients. This dish is more like an appetizer usually eaten with bread. I personally think it's enough for a meal.

I have chosen some basic popular ingredients, including eggplant.

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Caponata

1 large eggplant diced
2 zucchini diced
2 stalks celery diced
1 red onion
2 small sweet potatoes diced
1 can diced tomatoes or fresh plum tomatoes diced.
1 red bell pepper diced
4 cloves garlic minced
1 cup sultana raisins
1 cup green olives sliced
3 tablespoons capers
1 cup minced Italian parsley
1/4 cup minced fresh oregano
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons sugar(I used agave nectar)
Toasted pine nuts to garnish (or almonds)or both

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If I would have not forgotten to buy fresh basil, this would have been the star of the herbs but I just omitted it. I was too tired to go up the street and wait in line to get in the supermarket that has the basil. Fortunately I remembered the parsley and the oregano.

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The eggplant was done first so in could sit in a coating of salt for around half an hour. This takes the moisture out making the eggplant meatier which is good for this dish.

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I was pushing it by using my new non stick pan that was just big enough to fit all of the ingredients. I just had to use it. It was a purchase to compensate for the loss of my oven's bottom element which blew up last week. I am afraid to ask them for a new one. The caretaker is a grump. Baking days are over unless I work up the nerve.

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I started by cooking the onions and garlic in olive oil, then adding the other ingredients one by one. The sweet potatoes were blanched first.

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This dish needs to sit overnight to be perfect which is why I may be late with this post.

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I decided to have this with a quinoa bread which was gluten free, and to also make some polenta which is gluten free. I have gluten free days randomly and this was one of them.

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I had some cornmeal in the cupboard that was asking to be used. Polenta is an easy thing to make and a nice accompaniment with something Mediterranean.

Polenta is often made by adding cheese but I didn't bother since I don't consume dairy. I made a basic one by boiling around 4 cups of water with salt and adding 1 cup of the cornmeal which was sort of fine but not the finest. I also added around 3 tablespoons of olive oil.

When it's poured into the water I shut the burner off and keep stirring until it's smooth. I put it in a shallow baking pan and put it in the fridge to cool.

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When it was cool I took it out and cut it into squares then browned them in my new favorite non stick pan using just a little olive oil.

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While in the pan I added salt pepper and paprika.

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I garnished with toasted pine nuts which I didn't use all of, so I hid the rest from Marc to stop him from eating them all. They cost almost 10 dollars for a small hand full. They are such a treat for us. I could have used almonds but I wanted to have the full experience.

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I have a jar of vegan parmesean that I made a while back so I sprinkled some on as well.

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The parmesean is a simple blend of sunflower seeds, salt, nutritional yeast, onion powder and garlic powder. The seeds would be better toasted but I didn't bother. Sometimes I use ground almonds, or cashews.

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This dish is salty, tangy and a little sweet. I didn't use sugar which is usually added but I did add a little agave nectar. This along with the raisins are the perfect sweetness for me. The sweet potatoes were part of the sweetness as well. The saltiness from the capers and the olives and the salt balance it out. The red wine vinegar and tomatoes add to the tanginess.

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There was far too much left over so I will take it to work to share with our co worker and take a baguette. I like to have gluten free days but that will come to an end soon. I live in French Canada, so there are baguettes everywhere. This caponata will be even better on a fresh baguette. It's a guilty pleasure since I grew up with a father that only bought whole grain bread, brown rice and mostly health store products. We were not vegetarian though. I love my dad for having done that so I can at least be aware and take responsibility for what I eat and the consequences.

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I wish you all a great day!

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 7 months ago  

Yum! This will be a good one to keep in mind as the eggplant starts popping up all over in the summertime. Hoping to get some from our garden this year after not growing any last year. You've reminded me I haven't made polenta in a while either....

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Wow I wish I could go the the garden to get my supplies. That will always be the dream. Polenta is something I like once every so often but It's so easy and versatile.

 7 months ago  

We're definitely not to the point where we are anywhere near self-sufficient with growing produce, but boy is it fun to have at least a few good items when we can! Though I should probably be careful what I wish for, eggplant can be so prolific there have been a few summers I couldn't wait to give away some of our haul for being sick of eating so much, haha! A good problem to have, though!

 7 months ago  

This looks delish as usual ! Last night I roast a heap of tomatoes with olive oil and thyme, a tray of roast peppers and fennel and garlic, then cooked it on the stove top as a sauce with olives. Next level delicious - i should have thought to use polenta as like Katie I haven't used it in ages!


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It sounds similar to what I made. I came close to getting fennel for the first time, but I would only roast it. My bottom element blew up in my oven so I can't roast anymore. I have had fennel salad before and I like it.

What is it about polenta. I just never think to make it except for once in a while and I have so much cornmeal that was given to me.

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 7 months ago  

The eggplant is delicious and is prepared like a caponata, because its flavor is even better. I really liked this post that you have made, the photos are beautiful and you have explained it very very well, for which I congratulate you. I like the light and composition of the final photographs, well, all of them actually, and you have done something important, you have given an introduction to the recipe, to familiarize us with it, you have placed the ingredients properly indicated and they have explained a step by step very neat. Greetings.


La berenjena es deliciosa y preparada como una caponata, pues su sabor es aún mejor. Este post que has hecho me gustó mucho, las fotos están preciosas y lo has explicado muy muy bien, por lo que te felicito. Me gusta la luz y composición de las fotografías finales, bueno, de todas en realidad, y has hecho algo importante, le has dado una introducción a la receta, para familiarizarnos con ella, has colocado los ingredientes adecuadamente señalados y has explicado un paso a paso muy prolijo. Saludos.

@sirenhippie, that is such a lovely and appreciated compliment. I really enjoy making plantbased food and sharing the process, as much as I love learning from others, especially here on hive. I appreciate that you like the photos. I have no natural light to work with in my small apartment and it is necessary to use lighting to get anything. Cheers to you!

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This looks amazing! Thank you so much for sharing.

Thank you so much @anaclark!

Looks delicious!

Thank you very much @ssygmr!

Wow! I am hungry! No time for lunch yet! A carrot will do abs some bread now! LoL

Yes a carrot is perfect haha. I hope you enjoy lunch when you have it!

Thank you very much! LoL

It looks so tasty. Your food have most of my favorite vegetables. Have a good day.

Thank you @kidsisters. I am glad you like vegetables. All of the kids I know hate vegetables haha.

Always looks beautiful and delicious!! You really have skills to cook and art too. !wine

Thank you but I feel these things about you and your husband too!!!


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 7 months ago  

Well this is the bee's knees. I think I just realized my family has never tasted green olives too. Nice plating everything with polenta too, I haven't seen or eaten it in years.


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Yummy @carolynstahl, what an amazing meal you've made here! I would so love to sit at your table, lucky Marc;)
What is it with our ovens? My bake element also blew last week but it was quite a job finding the fault although we suspect that it's caused by all the loadshedding as the power spikes when it comes back on.
First my washing machine packed up, then my freezer and lastly the stove! Cost us quite a bit to fix all of this.
BUT back to your food, just amazing!

Aww that's so nice of you to say my friend. I really feel sad by the loss of my bottom element. I am scared to say something because of how miserable the caretaker is. I think he hates me and won't even say hi if I say hi first. He only speaks French but everyone knows hello. I am afraid my baking days are over haha. I may research and try to fix it myself haha.

Thank you for your lovely compliment!

YUM... we just strated growing eggplant in the garden. Can't wait to try this recipe!

What I wouldn't give to have eggplant in a garden. Or have a garden haha. Enjoy and thanks @amy-goodrich!