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Caponata – Delicious in more ways than one!

Posted on June 15, 2011 by in vegetables

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One could say that Caponata is the Italian version of Ratatouille, because it has similar ingredients such as egg plant and peppers, but that is definitely where the resemblance stops, because Caponata is typically a Sicilian dish served cold as an antipasto and  is now popular all over the world.
It can be eaten warm as an accompaniment to meat and poultry or used as a pasta sauce.
Alletta Lindveldt wrote on her blog………..”Full of autumn vegetables, vibrant colors and delicious flavors – it is food that sings with joy. It is impossible to not feel an inexplicable sense of contentment and gratitude for life when you share it’s jewel colors with friends.”
The main ingredient in Caponata is eggplant which is a vegetable that has definitely gained popularity in my house and I use it quite often these days. My family’s favorite eggplant recipes are Eggplant stacks, Eggplant Parmesan and Eggplant rolls with 3 cheeses! It is a wonderful condiment to have in the fridge, it is delicious with goat’s cheese on grilled ciabatta, delicious on a chunk of cheese as a midnight snack and it brings grilled meat, whether it is chicken, beef, lamb or pork, to life!

yields about 1½ cup

2 large eggplant – cut in small cubes
1 red pepper cut in cubes
1 yellow pepper cut in cubes
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic – crushed
olive oil
fresh oregano or thyme
2 tbsp capers – rinsed under cold water
a few green pitted olives
1-2 tbsp red wine vinegar
a handful of Italian parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a pan and saute the eggplant, onions, garlic, oregano and peppers until it becomes soft but not mushy. Remove from the heat and add all other ingredients. Serve warm on your favorite grilled meat or spoon into a jar and keep for later.  I used it in a quiche yesterday and was simply heavenly.

Caponata Quiche

for the crust
250ml( 1 cup) cake flour
125ml(1/2 cup) mealie meal ( or dry polenta)
200gr butter – cold and cut in cubes
1 tsp curry powder
1 cup grated mature cheddar cheese

Place all the ingredients except the butter in a food processor and while the machine is running, add the butter, a little cube at a time, until all the butter is worked into the flour and the pastry starts to clump together. Stop pulsing and  throw the pastry out on a floured surface and press together with your hands and cover with cling wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour. On a floured surface, roll out the pastry to the size of your quiche pan, mine is about 29cm(11-12 inches). Alternatively use your fingers and press the pastry down to fill the quiche tin. Refrigerate while you make the filling. Yes, you read correctly…no pre-baking!

For the filling

250ml cream
4 eggs
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
1 ring of feta – drained and crumbled
3 heaped tbsp Caponata
1 onion – chopped.
olive oil

Saute the onion in some olive oil until soft and translucent. Spoon into the pastry . Beat cream, eggs and Parmesan together. Pour over onions. Spoon Caponata in little bits over the quiche, sprinkle the crumbed feta cheese over the top and bake for about 40 minutes or until the middle of the quiche has just set when you touch it. Serve with a side salad and more Caponata if you like!

Other eggplant recipes you might love!
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7 Responses to “Caponata – Delicious in more ways than one!”

  1. Carolina 15 June 2011 at 7:48 am #

    Dear Nina,

    As always beautiful photo's and mouthwatering recipes.

    Warmest regards from

    Carolina da Cucina Carolina

  2. Marisa 15 June 2011 at 10:06 am #

    Would you believe I've never had this? A shame as I love eggplant.

  3. bellini 15 June 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    This just screams summer and is so refreshing in so many dishes Nina.

  4. Ishay 15 June 2011 at 6:46 pm #

    Nina- How I love aubergine! I'm going to use your quiche recipe- I know it will be flop proof and I've used teh trial and error method for far too long long.As always, stunning pics too x

  5. That Girl 15 June 2011 at 7:10 pm #

    We had eggplant last night. But stuffed with lamb!

  6. pinkpolkadot 15 June 2011 at 10:46 pm #

    I just looove all of this!! Aubergine is one of my favourites!! Thanks for the wonderful recipes, Nins!!

  7. Jan 20 June 2011 at 6:37 am #

    Nina that looks amazing!
    I've added to my list of 'must makes' although my pictures would never be half as good – yours are fantastic!

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