I don't think that I've ever experienced so many flavor sensations in one bite as I did with this caponata. It had hints of sweetness, heat, earthiness, tang, and a creamy nuttiness. It was kind of wild. I decided it would be better to make for lunch because I had a sneaking suspicion that I might be the only one in my family who'd like it. I ate my caponata on top of grilled bread and a little ricotta. It was a definitely a nice change from the usual turkey sandwich or leftovers from dinner kind of lunch.
1 large or 2 medium eggplant,
cut into 1/2-inch cubes (4 cups)
3/4 cup Newman's Own Balsamic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup chopped golden raisins
1 teaspoon chili flakes
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves,
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 baguette sliced
In a large bowl add the eggplant
and 1/2 cup of balsamic dressing. Stir to coat and let sit for 10
minutes. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add
onions to sauté pan and cook over medium heat until onions are caramelized.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the pine nuts, raisins, and chili
flakes to the caramelized onions and stir to combine. Cook onion mixture for about 3
minutes and then add the eggplant, brown sugar, cinnamon and cocoa powder and
continue to sauté until the eggplant begins to soften, about 5 minutes.
Stir in thyme, tomato paste, water, and remaining 1/4 cup dressing. Cover
the pan with a lid and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook, covered, for 15
minutes. Add the salt and taste. Adjust seasonings if
necessary. Serve on slices of a crusty baguette.
*I would halve the recipe next
time. I had more than enough (especially because I was the only one
Recipe adapted ever so slightly
from Not Without