The first night I made this, I meant to eat something else for dinner. Or at least, something in addition to this. But after that first, delicious eggplant-tomato-onion-garlicy bite, I was smitten. So smitten, in fact, that I spent the next hour sopping up every last bit of this recipe. (Yes, all by myself. Do you have a problem with that?)
Caponata is great on its own, but this takes it to a whole new level. I love eggplant, but it’s hard to use in recipes without losing any healthiness for the dish — it soaks up oil faster than you can add it to the pan, so it’s easy to overdo. My solution is to start the caponata with the eggplant cooking in water with garlic and onions, and add the oil only after the eggplant has cooked — enough so it cooks into the caponata (and will blend in even better if you let it sit for a day or two), without making this fresh, healthy dinner into something to feel guilty about.
Eggplants are in season here now, so they should be readily available. This recipe is, seriously, shockingly good — and I bet you can resist it about as well as I could. Or, well, couldn’t.
Eggplant Caponata Recipe
1 large onion, diced
2 medium eggplants, diced
4 large cloves of garlic
Water, as much as needed
4 plum tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp virgin olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 baguette, sliced and toasted
In a large saute pan, over medium heat, add the onions, garlic, eggplant and 1 cup of water on high heat, along with plenty of salt and pepper. Cook until the eggplant has softened, adding more water when necessary so the mixture doesn’t dry out. When the eggplant has absorbed enough water to be soft and well-cooked, add the tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, along with additional salt and pepper if necessary.
Lower the heat and simmer the mixture for 10 more minutes, or until the tomatoes have broken down. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature, and then serve with the toasted baguette slices.