Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I saw chef Anne Burrell prepare this dish on the Food Network this past Saturday morning. Because of the abundance of summer veggies in the ingredients list, I knew this would be a terrific way to use the abundance from my market basket. I made a few changes to the original recipe (for example, no golden raisins) and was pleased with the results. Caponata is delicious by itself or when served with pasta or grilled steak. And like most tomato-based dishes, it tastes even better the second day. Don't be intimidated by the number of ingredients—it comes together with minimal fuss. Enjoy!

1 eggplant, cut into cubes
Olive oil
Crushed red pepper flakes
1 onion, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 or 2 zucchini, chopped
1/2 cup water
1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
Black pepper
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint (yes, mint!)
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

1. Place eggplant on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and crushed red pepper. Bake at 400° for 15 to 20 minutes.
2. Sauté onion, fennel, and celery in hot oil until vegetables begin to soften. Add in garlic and next 3 ingredients. Cook, stirring often, 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in water and tomato paste; cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in roasted eggplant. Dissolve sugar in vinegar, and add to vegetable mixture, and cook 5 more minutes or until liquid is dissolved. Stir in Parmesan cheese and mint, and remove from heat. Stir in pine nuts just before serving.

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