Morning to you all! Hope everyone had a fabulous and wonderful weekend. Well tomorrow afternoon the winners are going to be announced for the GiveAway!!!! You still have today to enter so just scroll down and get the details! I am very excited about it!
Well in case you don’t know this about me, I am a vegetarian so every day is meatless for me but I love to spread the word and share my own personal recipes with my friends and maybe add a day of the week that will help them go meatless! My reasons revolve completely around my love for animals but going meatless at least once a week is good for your health! wonderful for the environment! priceless to animals! and may I add…DELICIOUS!!!!! Vegetables are BOUNTIFUL right now, there is nothing like farm fresh veggies as I am sure you all know. What’s on the menu today?
Did you ever just have a taste for something? Well my daughter Heather was very much in the mood for Caponata so what is a mother to do but comply! I have to tell you something about this creation though, there is no right or wrong. If you have something extra you want to add, go right ahead, if you don’t have enough of one thing, add more of another. I call it cooking by ear and I am sure most of you know what I am talking about. The one thing I don’t want to happen is to have you be a slave to the recipe (except baking)! Having fun and being creative is such a huge process of becoming a good cook so please have fun!
After you make this you must try it with hot crusty Italian bread, an assortment of cheeses and a good red wine! I am a huge fan of Bully Hill Wine my favorite is Love My Goat, a semi sweet red that is delicious and perfect with this dish.
Caponata Cammarata Style:
4 medium eggplants
2 yellow zucchinis
2 bunches of scallions (the whole scallion)
4 stalks of tender celery (thinly sliced)
6 cloves of fresh garlic (thinly sliced)
3 nice size beefsteak tomatoes chopped (or a can of drained san marzanos or any good plum canned tomato
2 red roasted peppers (if using jarred please rinse well)
1 yellow roasted pepper
1large jar or 1 pound of frozen artichoke hearts
1/2 cup large green Italian olives my favorite are: Castelvetrano Olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons of golden raisins
1/3 cup of fresh chopped basil
1/2 cup of black Kalamata Olives, pitted and chopped
1/3 cup of small capers (rinsed)
1-2 tablespoons of sugar
1/4 cup of pine nuts
1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar
(salt and pepper to taste)
olive oil and canola oil
Let us start by peeling the eggplants. Then cut the eggplants into 1 inch cubes. Spread the eggplant on a baking sheet or any flat surface and sprinkle with coarse salt and then cover with a towel. Place another baking sheet on top with yet more heavy objects on top. (you can use cans, bricks, your choice) After and hour passes place your eggplant in a colander and rinse and then squeeze the eggplant dry.
Now take out your favorite cast iron skillet and add your oil and heat it up on high, first place your scallion whites into the skillet and saute for about 2-3 minutes and then add your celery, continue to saute for another 2 minutes and then add your zucchinis and garlic and continue to cook another 10 minutes until everything is a golden brown. Now is the time to add your chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned) then add all of your other ingredients with your vinegar and sugar, combining well as you go along. Now cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
While this fragrant yummy creation is simmering away it is now time for you to cook the eggplant. Have a clean skillet ready with at least a cup of canola oil heated and ready to go. Cook your eggplant in 3 batches (adding additional oil if needed) Cook for approximately 8-10 until nicely browned and tender. Have paper towel ready and waiting to place you eggplant on to drain. Do this again and again till your eggplant is all done. After the eggplant is drained, fold into the cooked mixture (it is much easier to place the mixture in a large mixing bowl for ease of use)
Allow the caponata to sit at room temperature for at least 10 hours or more for the flavors to meld. The longer it sits, the tastier it is. Serve and place the rest of the mixture into the fridge. It keeps for a good week if stored well.
If you want a real treat make yourself and your family a Panini, 2 slices of ciabatta bread (or your favorite bread) a nice layer of caponata topped with a good provolone cheese, fontina cheese, fresh mozzarella or your favorite cheese, brush with olive oil and grill…a new favorite for sure!
Hope you enjoy and I will see you tomorrow with our WINNERS!!!!!! remember to scan down and find the details of the GiveAway and enter : )