YIELD Makes about 5-1/4 cups
Sometimes the greenest recipes are those that you can use over-and-over again without cooking from scratch. Especially if you can use fresh, local and vegetarian ingredients. Whether it's risotto becoming risotto cakes or leftover turkey tacos - using up leftovers saves money and it often saves energy too.
Caponata is one of those dishes that seems designed to be a leftover - not because it's not tasty - but because it seems to get better over the course of a week, and because it is delightful hot, cold or at room temperature. We make this eggplant and tomato dish (somewhere between a stew and a relish), and keep it in the fridge. One day we might eat it in a panini with mozzarella, the next day with a baked potato, and the next day mixed in with spaghetti. I'm not sure how authentic any of these serving suggestions are, but really, almost anything goes.
|Two medium||eggplants - diced|
|One medium||onion - dice|
|Three or four||sticks of celery - chopped|
|One can||of tomatoes, or a good bowlful of fresh tomatoes from the garden - also diced|
|A tablespoon||of capers|
|Two tablespoons||of black olives - coursely chopped|
|Three or four||garlic cloves - chopped|
|Olive oil - lots of it!|
|Three tablespoons||of red wine vinegar|
|A cupful||of basil leaves - torn up|
|A handful||of pine nuts|
- Preparation is simple - you just saute the eggplant, celery and onion over medium heat with the olive oil until soft and just browning a little here and there - adding more if the pan gets dry.
- After about 8 minutes, add the garlic, capers and olives and saute for a just a minute longer.
- Now add the tomatoes, red wine vinegar and basil leaves and allow to cook for half an hour with the lid on. It should reach a thick, yet still somewhat liquid consistency.
- Season to taste. Now toast some pine nuts in a pan, and scatter over the caponata. you can either serve the dish hot, or allow it to cool to room temperature.
- I like to leave mine overnight and then eat cold with bread, or in a warm sandwich with cheese. But do what you will...
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