Caponata

Caponata and I have a warm history. I remember eating this on Dad’s homemade bread when I was a little girl. I love this stuff so much.

I always loved this dish as it has a strong eggplant flavor. Now that I am studying nutrition, I especially love this dish as it consists primarily of vegetables. The great thing about this dish is that it can be so easily modified to the individual’s liking. The most important part is the eggplant, olives, and tomato paste; the rest can be played with. It is also relatively easy to prepare and is a wonderful way to incorporate more vegetables into the diet.

When I make this, it yields way too much for just myself, so I end up eating it with bread, as a pasta sauce, and even just with a spoon as a sort of soup. Yeah, it’s that good.

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Caponata
1/3 cup olive oil
1 1/2 – 2 large eggplants, medium chopped (peeled if prefered)
1 onion, medium chopped
10-12 sliced baby portabella mushrooms
1 zucchini, medium chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup tomato paste
1 cup water
1/2 cup olives, sliced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon dried oregano
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
Crusty multigrain bread, for serving

Heat oil in a large (at least 6 quart) saucepan. Add eggplant, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, and garlic. Stir to coat the ingredients in oil, add more oil if needed, and cook, stirring occasionally, until ingredients are slightly tender. Stir in remaining ingredients and mix well. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmir until eggplant is tender, about 30 minutes. Add more water for thinner consistency, if desired. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate. Serve at room temperature with sliced crusty multigrain bread. Makes approximately 5-6 cups.

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