Saturday, December 09, 2006

Roasted Vegetable Caponata

Roasted Vegetable Caponata
Adapted from The Ultimate New York Diet

Prep time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Cooling time: 20 minutes

Makes: 2 cups

1 medium eggplant
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (or nonfat cooking spray)
½ cup Vidalia onion ( any sweet onion wil do), coarsely chopped
½ cup fennel bulb, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup roasted red peppers, sliced
4 canned tomatoes (I used fire roasted, but any nice plum tomatoes will work), chopped
½ cup of the juice from the cannned tomatoes
1 tbsp fresh Italian/flat leafed parsley, chopped
4 large fresh basil leaves ( he took them out, I chopped them up and left them in)
½ tsp crushed chili peppers (my addition)
1 tbsp baby capers, rinsed

1. Preheat oven to 400°F/200°C.

2. Wrap the eggplant in foil and bake for 50-60 minutes. It’s ready when it’s tender when pierced with a fork.

3. Let it cool a bit (so you don’t burn your hand) and cut it in half. Scoop out the “meat” of the eggplant into a small bowl, discarding the skin.

4. Heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat and add cooking spray or 1 tbsp olive oil (or coat the bottom with cooking spray – I used the oil). Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent and begins to soften.

5. Add the fennel and garlic and cook for another 3 minutes. Add everything except the capers and simmer, uncovered for about 20 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the vegetables are soft. If it gets too thick before the vegetables soften, add a little water, but the dish should “dry” when the vegetables are ready.

6. Add the capers, remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

This is delicious over crusty bread, multigrain pita or – for South Beach Dieters, Phase One, piled on endive leaves or in scooped out sweet red peppers. The author says it will keep, covered, in the fridge for 2 weeks, but ours didn’t last past the weekend.

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