Pan Roasted Eggplant Caponata by Nadeane and Family

29 Sep thinking of pan-roasted eggplant caponata and trader joe’s

My loved ones has a California holiday ritual-and it has tiny to perform with the standard west coast holiday routine. You can find no swimsuits, star-glazing binoculars, or Disneyland tickets in our ritual. Rather, we pack light and adhere to this straight-forward strategy:

Leave one quarter of your suitcase empty, upon landing locate the nearest Trader Joe’s, and buy till your suitcase bursts in the seams.

We adhere to this ritual, since we reside in Colorado, and like numerous other Coloradoans, we lament that the nearest Trader Joe’s is across state lines. In Colorado, we devote our content hours, consuming non-Trader Joe’s almonds and drinking non-Trader Joe’s wine, pining right after Two Buck Chuck and cheap nut mixes. In the Mile High City, our celebration conversations center on why TJ’s will not open in our state. Is it our antiquated liquor laws? Or our distribution problems? We mingle, and we wonder.

That is why the California ritual is so essential. In the spring, I brought back 5 pounds of olive tapenade and red pepper spread. We replenished within the fall, when my parents went to Yosemite and came back with bags of golden dried apricots, boxes of multigrain crackers, tubs of chocolate covered blueberries, and sacred jars of eggplant caponata. The final, we saved for Christmas, and now, sitting in my cupboard, I have one jar of olive tapenade left-and no trip to California planned. The feeling in my stomach has been beyond nervous butterflies.

Lately, even though, a recipe for eggplant caponata came across my desk-and I had one of those euphoric moments, like whenever you crack the code on an impossible puzzle. I might not possess a Trader Joe’s in Colorado, but that couldn’t hold me from generating Trader Joe’s goods. So I went appropriate out and purchased myself 4 deep purple, oblong eggplants and began chopping.

That night, I created the Sicilian vegetable salad for dinner. I pan roasted the eggplant; sweat the diced onions, fennel bulb, and tomatoes; and mixed in golden raisins and toasted pine nuts. I ate the roasted eggplant medley, the sweet sister of French ratatouille, alone with tear of baguette-and it was all so darn delicious, with its sweet, earthy tastes, that I produced it once more last weekend. That time, even though, I served it as an appetizer, on crispy garlic toasts. I piled the chunky vegetable mixture high on the thin slices of broiled baguette-and even though snow was falling in Vail, we tasted rustic, Italian countryside.

I’ll must make this appetizer once again. Next time for my household. I wouldn’t want them to continue thinking that we’re only a single jar of olive tapenade away from a desperate trip to California. We’ve pan-roasted eggplant caponata to keep us content till we choose to go west, and when we do, just feel of all the added space in our suitcases.

Pan-roasted Eggplant Caponata
Serves four (as entrée) or 8 (as appetizer)
Adapted from Marc Vetri, Amis

This lightly sweet, Sicilian eggplant salad is super versatile. Serve oneself a generous portion and a hunk of baguette, and also you possess a dinner akin to ratatouille. Dish it up next to a roast, and also you have a hearty, vegetable salad. Or attempt my beloved way, and place a bowl of eggplant caponata on a tray with crispy, garlic toasts, and you have an addictive appetizer.

To create your personal garlic toasts (technically bruschetta), simply cut a baguette into ¼-inch slices, place beneath the broiler for 8 minutes, flipping the toasts half way through. When toasts are out in the oven, rub with olive oil and a clove of garlic.

½ cup plus two tablespoons canola oil, divided
two medium eggplants, cut into ½-inch dice
½ medium fennel bulb, cut into ¼-inch dice
¼ medium red onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
1 garlic clove, minced
¼ cup diced canned tomatoes, drained
two tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1/3 cup golden raisins
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ teaspoons red wine vinegar

Pour ¼ cup canola oil into a sizable skillet more than medium-high heat. Heat until shimmering, but not smoking. Add half the eggplant, inside a single layer, and cook, turning every single couple of minutes, until deep, golden brown on all sides, about 15 minutes. Remove eggplant and drain on a paper towel. Return skillet to medium-high heat, and add extra ¼ cup oil and repeat with remaining eggplant.

While the second batch of eggplant is cooking, heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add two tablespoons oil, along with fennel, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are tender, but not browned, ten to 12 minutes. Add tomato, crushing because it cooks.

Return all eggplant to huge skillet over medium heat. Produce an opening in the center from the pan. Add fennel mixture, pine nuts, and raisins to empty center and gently fold in eggplant, cautious not to break up the vegetable.

Eliminate pan from heat and stir in salt, pepper, and vinegar. Serve warm or at room temperature. Retailer in refrigerator, in an airtight container, for as much as three days.

Tags: Pan Roasted Eggplant Caponata, Eggplant Caponata, Pan Eggplant Caponata, Caponata, Easy eggplant recipes

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