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Eggplant Caponata

September 22, 2011

Fresh from the garden to the dinner table!

It’s harvest time around these parts and I’m happy to report that our little garden was pretty productive this year!  Today’s recipe came from our garden to our table as a delicious side dish for oven roasted chicken.  I love eggplant and am always looking for new ways to use it.  This recipe was inspired by the Eggplant Caponata recipe in The Primal Blueprint Cookbook.  While flipping through the book, I noticed that this recipe could be made using many of our home grown ingredients.  I’ve tweaked the original recipe a little bit to suite our tastes and I think it came out great!  Hope you enjoy!

Eggplant Caponata

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices of bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch slices (free range and nitrate free if possible)
  • 1 large or 2-3 small eggplants, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (you do not need to peel the eggplant)
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound fresh Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced (you can substitute a 14 ounce can of tomatoes, but I prefer the texture of the fresh tomatoes in this dish)
  • 1 cup large green olives, pitted and quartered
  • 3 Tablespoons capers, drained
  • 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil

What to do:

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.  Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Cook the bacon in the skillet until it is lightly browned and the fat has rendered.  Remove the bacon from the pan to a small bowl.  Place the eggplant in a large baking dish and pour the bacon fat over the dish.  Stir to coat the eggplant.  Place the eggplant in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the same skillet that the bacon was browned in, add the onion and additional fat if needed (butter, ghee, or olive oil).  Saute the onion for about 10 minutes or until softened.  Add in the tomatoes, olives, and capers.  Cover the skillet and simmer for about 15 minutes.  Add the eggplant and celery, cover the skillet and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.

Remove the cover and add the vinegar and honey.  Simmer for several minutes – until most of the moisture has evaporated.  Remove from the heat and add in the bacon bits.  Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.  I found that the bacon added enough salt, but feel free to add some sea salt if needed.  Drizzle with olive oil and enjoy!  I served this dish warm, but it is delicious room temperature or cold too!

Yield 4-6 servings.

Eggplant Caponata makes a great side dish for roasted chicken!

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