Caponata Siciliana and Why You Should Join the Eggplant Fan Club

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3 Reasons to Eat More Eggplant

  1. Eggplant is rich in essential nutrients.  It is a source of fiber, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B-6, iron, and magnesium.
  2. Eggplant contains flavonoids known as anthocyanins which have been proven to play a major role in lowering risk of cardiovascular disease.
  3. Eggplant is ranked among the top 10 vegetables in terms of oxygen radical absorbance capacity!  This makes it a powerful free radical scavenger, protecting you from all the terrors caused by free radicals.

If I haven’t convinced you to join the eggplant fan club, then try my recipe below, or pop on over for dinner sometime.  Caponata, a Sicilian vegetable appetizer happens to be the first dish I learned to make in cooking school in Sicily.  A simple party-pleaser, it’s something I often turn to when I’m lazy and craving something healthy and tasty.

 

Caponata Siciliana

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg shaped purple eggplant (make sure it’s not squishy)
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 3 ripe sweet beautiful (or ugly) tomatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • red pepper to taste
  • pinch salt
  • 1 bunch fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • parmesan cheese (for garnish)
  • IMG_5096

 

IMG_5093Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Chop eggplant into thumb sized cubes and place in large glass pan.  Top with olive oil and red wine and cover with sheet of aluminum foil.  Place pan in heated oven.

While eggplant begins to cook, peel garlic and mince.  Place garlic in oiled pan on stove over low heat and cook making sure garlic cloves don’t brown.  As they begin to get golden, chop and add tomatoes. sprinkle salt and red pepper flakes.  Cook over medium to low heat until tomatoes fall apart and form a fragrant garlicky tomato paste.  Remove garlic cloves if desired.

Remove eggplant from oven and spread sauce over eggplant.  Sprinkle with sliced almonds.  Add more olive oil and wine if eggplant is too dry.  Cover again and return to oven.  Bake covered for an hour or until eggplant in brown and mushy

Top with fresh basil and parmesan cheese.

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