We recently made a trip to Rye, NY, to visit my brother, Geoff T, and his family. Our timing was perfect in that our trip coincided with their backyard garden eggplant harvest.
This isn’t a hard dish to make but it does take time as you want to make sure that the eggplant, onions and celery become very tender. This relish has savory, sweet, and tangy flavors. Make it a few hours ahead of time to ensure the flavors get a chance to develop while chilling in the refrigerator. While we like to serve this as an hors d’oeuvre it can also be served as an accompaniment to meat or chicken.
It is always fun to make one of Ed’s mom’s wonderful recipes as we we both have so many fond memories of her cooking. It was even more fun this time as we got to introduce one of her recipes to a new generation. We knew Atlee was pleased with our hard work when she went back for a second helping of this caponata.
P.S. I just heard that Atlee asked her mom if they could make this recipe again! She must really like it.
Me, Atlee and Ed preparing Josephine’s Eggplant Caponata. Ed and I love how much fun Atlee has in the kitchen. Note that Atlee made Ed the Sous Chef (see apron)! (Photo by Annie Losey Teillon)
|Josephine's Eggplant Caponata|| || |
- 4 medium eggplants, peeled and diced
- 1 cup olive oil (divided)
- 4 onions, thinly sliced
- 4 stalks of celery, diced
- ½ cup capers
- 12 green olives, pitted and cut into pieces
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Serve with: baguette slices
- Heat ½ cup of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Peel and dice the eggplants and fry in a single layer until soft – about 8 to 10 minutes.
- Remove cooked eggplant from pan and place in colander to drain oil. Repeat until all of the eggplant is cooked – adding more oil if needed.
- Add remaining oil (1/4 cup) to frying pan and cook onions until soft and browned – about 10 minutes.
- Add celery and cook until celery is tender, adding a little bit of water (if needed) – about 10 minutes.
- Return eggplant to the pan and add capers, olives, pine nuts, red wine vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper.
- Simmer about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Cool before serving.
- Serve at room temperature with baguette slices.
* Use food processor with a slicing blade or mandolin slicer to get very thin onion slices.
* You can use large green cocktail olives – remove the pimento before slicing.