The farms are practically giving away eggplant this time of the year. I picked up our weekly box at Amber Wave Farmst this week and there were two huge bins, one of zucchini and one of eggplant, with a sign that said take all you want.
What do you do with all the eggplant? I made Caponata. You can follow the amounts below or not. In the end it kind of doesn't matter. Caponata is one of those dishes that is almost like a kitchen sink. Pour it all in and it just works. I used Liz Neumarks recipe as my base.
5/6 large to medium eggplants and more
2 big sweet onions diced
1 cup diced celery
1 tbsp. thyme leaves
1 tbsp. rosemary leaves
2 yellow and 2 red peppers roasted (I roasted them whole on the grill)
1 cup capers drained
3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups chopped tomatoes
I took 5 eggplants of all different sizes including about 10 of these African orange eggplants that have hit the farm stands out here this summer. I sliced them all put, doused them with olive oil and grilled. Once I grilled them I let them cool and cut them into small pieces.
In a really large deep pan I lightly covered the bottom with olive oil. I got it hot and then added in the onions, thyme, rosemary and some kosher salt (about a tsp. for taste). Saute until tender. Then I added in the grilled chopped eggplant.
I let the peppers get really black on the grill and then I let them cool. Took the skin off and then chopped up the peppers and added them to the pan. I also put in the capers, vinegar, sugar and tomatoes.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Crank up the heat a little and let the liquid evaporate as the mixture gets thicker. Let cool and serve. This stays really well in the refrigerator for more than a few days.
More than likely I will be making more in the next couple of weeks. It is really yummy over anything.