Darlings! Did you think La Diva forgot about you yesterday? Ah well, she did not, she just had company stay late! But, I didn't want you to miss out on my fantastic idea for using up more of the food share for the week as everyone truly enjoyed the dinner!
Challenge: eggplant and French Breakfast radish! Into the freezer I go....and find...tuna steaks.
When La Diva thinks of eggplant she thinks of caponata! Never heard of it? It's a very old dish from Sicily with about as many versions on how to make it as the good ol' Spag Bol! La Diva has Sicilian roots so thought it appropriate to include in today's challenge!
I find the easiest way to describe caponata as a chunky, savory eggplant salad that can be used like a relish, a salsa or as a topping for crostini or crackers! Stored in the refrigerator, it lasts for weeks and is served at room temperature. This is definitely a dish that is better the day after making. Darling, don't be shy, give it a try!
La Diva's Caponata
This is a recipe I do “to taste” so feel free to adjust to your own taste. Make sure the celery is cooked, this is not meant to be crunchy. This is a dish that's great to have on hand for a quick appetizer for unexpected company!
1 large eggplant, diced, salted, drained
2 ribs celery, diced
1 white onion, minced
1 small red pepper, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 T capers, drained, coarsely chopped
1/2 c kalamata olives, drained, coarsely chopped
1/2 c green stuffed olives, drained, coarsely chopped
1- 2 T anchovy paste
8 oz. can seasoned tomato sauce
extra virgin olive oil
2 t sugar
2 t white wine vinegar
salt to taste (not too much, there’s a lot of salt in the olives and capers)
black pepper to taste
oregano to taste
1/2 c water
more extra virgin olive oil
Saute celery, onion and pepper in olive oil for five minutes and then add drained and salted eggplant and minced garlic. Cook for a few more minutes, 10 minutes total. Add the rest of ingredients and water and simmer over low heat, covered, for 25 minutes. Do not over cook eggplant, it should still be in chunks and not mushy. Texture should be soft and not watery but a nice consistency like a pickle or relish. There should not be much “sauce” left. At the end of cooking, I drizzle more extra virgin olive oil over it and then put into a jar.
Cool and store in the fridge, if you keep it covered with olive oil, it should keep for at least a month. Serve at room temperature with crackers, flat bread, crostini and it's just lovely as a bruschetta topping. La Diva's been enjoying it on English muffins!
However, for the challenge, La Diva made a lovely insalata misto with the fresh radishes! For the main course, I let the caponata come to room temperature and then served it over seared tuna steaks with a basil chiffonade garnish and rice. Savory and scrumptious!
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