Caponata is the perfect Italian dish to make when eggplant, tomatoes, and fresh basil are in season. Enjoy as a side dish (warm or chilled) or appetizer (chopped and served on crostini).
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium eggplant, 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 medium zucchini, 1/2 inch cubes
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1/2 inch squares
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup pitted green olives, chopped
- 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Heat large sauté pan over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup olive oil, then add eggplant in a single layer. You can do two batches if all of the eggplant does not fit in a single layer. Sauté eggplant, letting it turn golden brown on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon to a large prep bowl.
- Add remaining 1/4 cup olive oil, and repeat with zucchini. Remove zucchini with a slotted spoon (to leave oil in the pan) to the bowl with the eggplant.
- Add onion and celery to the pan and sauté about 5 minutes.
- Add red bell pepper, raisins, olives, capers, pine nuts, sea salt, and red pepper flakes and sauté until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes and white balsamic vinegar. Simmer until liquid has evaporated and tomatoes are well incorporated.
- Add fresh herbs and toss together.
- Serve over corn polenta, rice, or crostini.