Take advantage of your summer garden’s bounty with a mouthwatering caponata, such as this one, that combines a variety of flavors to create a light vegetarian fare perfect for dipping, spreading and spooning on those careless summer nights out on the patio.
This effortless appetizer is just brimming with fresh vegetables and bold flavors, making it absolutely irresistible—you won’t be able to cut the bread fast enough.
Plump golden raisins and crunchy pine nuts take this simple Sicilian starter to a new level of deliciousness, while capers and Kalamata olives keep the dish tethered to its Mediterranean roots.
1 medium eggplant, peeled and diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 medium summer squash, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
2 or 3 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup capers
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, sliced
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Salt, to taste
Extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a medium bowl toss diced eggplant with olive oil and salt until well coated; spread in a single layer over a small baking sheet. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, in a large, heavy bottom pot sauté onion until translucent. Stir in red pepper flakes and minced garlic and heat until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini, squash and bell peppers and allow to cook until vegetables begin to stew; stir in olives, tomatoes, tomato paste, and water and bring to a slow boil until juices begin to thicken.
In a small bowl dissolve sugar in red wine vinegar, stir mixture into stewed vegetables and reduce to a simmer. Allow liquid to reduce by half before mixing in golden raisins, capers and pine nuts, let simmer for 10 more minutes or until raisins have plumped up.
Allow caponata to cool to room temperature before serving. Spread over crusty bread or crackers. Refrigerate for up to 4 days in an airtight container.