Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Market basket caponata

I was faced with a fridge and counter full of vegetables this week -- not quite keeping up with our CSA basket. So, after taking stock of the stock, so to speak, I decided to try my hand at caponata today. Everything was in the the pantry or the fridge. I am allergic to bell peppers, so I don't use them. But you could roast and peel a couple of green and red peppers, chop them and add to the pot with the rest of the ingredients. Dave always complains that I don't write things down when I cook good stuff, so honey, if you're out there somewhere reading this, this one's for you :) Market Basket Caponata 2 C eggplant in 1" cubes, unpeeled if skin is tender 2 C zucchini in 1" cubes Kosher salt 1 1/2 C carrots, 1/4" slices 1 C onion, rough chopped 1 C celery, chopped 5 cloves garlic, sliced thin 2 T raisins, soaked in hot water and drained 2 T small capers, drained and rinsed 2 T pine nuts 1/2 C peeled, seeded, and chopped chiles (like Anaheim or sweet Italian peppers) 1/2 C sun dried tomatoes, julienned (not oil-packed) 1/2 C black olives, pitted and chopped (I used Nicoise because I had them) 1 14-oz can diced tomatoes in juice 1/4 C red wine 1/4 C red wine vinegar 1/4 C balsamic vinegar 2 T honey 1/2 C chopped fresh basil 1/2 C water 2 T olive oil Salt and pepper to taste Put eggplant and zucchini in colander and toss with salt. Let drain while you're prepping the other ingredients. Then rinse with cool water and drain. Heat the olive oil in a pot or dutch oven, and brown the eggplant and zucchini. Add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook until onion is translucent. Add garlic and stir for a couple of minutes more. Then add all the rest of the ingredients except the water. Bring to a simmer, cover and simmer for 30 min. Check it -- it should be saucy, add some water if it is not. Cover and simmer another 30 minutes, or until the carrots are tender and the flavors have melded. It should be a little spicy, a little tangy, a little sweet with good texture from the vegetables. Serve with just about anything -- pasta, meats, bruschetta, fish steaks. Will keep for about a week, or you can freeze it for longer storage.

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