I’m kind of a fan of travel shows. While most are gimmicky, some can be really fun to watch. I was watching one on Sicily, and they mentioned an eggplant dish called caponata. It seemed like a straight-forward enough concept, similar to ratatouille, so I decided to try to make some.
1/3 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ of a medium eggplant, chopped
2-3 tomatoes, chopped
1-2 tablespoons tomato sauce
½ tablespoon sugar
1 ½ tablespoons white or red wine vinegar
Basil and parsley, to taste
7-8 olives, chopped
¼ cup pine nuts
Saute the onion and garlic in a large frying pan with olive oil. After a minute, add the chopped eggplant. Eggplants soak up oil quickly, so make sure to get all the pieces coated when you start cooking. Once the eggplant is soft (10-15 minutes) add the tomatoes and tomato sauce. Then add the sugar and wine vinegar. Keep cooking, and occasionally mash up the eggplant a bit with your spatula. After 10 minutes, it should be about done. Add basil, pine nuts, and chopped olives. The adjust vinegar and sugar to taste. Let it cool before serving.
This is such a yummy dish. One of the few that really does taste better cool than warm. You can eat it by itself, but I like scooping it onto a slice of bread. Obviously, being Italian and a summer dish, you want to serve it with white wine, or a European rose. Rose gets a bad rap in the US, but French roses are not sweet – they are refreshing and relatively light but still more of a half-way point between white and red. Finally, the song of the week: At the Zoo, by Simon and Garfunkel, because I went to the zoo recently. Because pandas and orangutans (other animals too, but those are my favorites).