Meet ratatouille's sassy Sicilian cousin! Caponata is a complex, sweet and sour dish of stewed eggplant, spiked with vinegar, capers and tomato. To clarify, it's complex in flavor, not in preparation.
I add zucchini to my version because the two grow up together, so they’re natural companions and plentiful at the markets this time of year. While the eggplant fries I like to give zucchini coins a quick roast so they pick up more flavor. After which they're stirred into the eggplant and stewed with vinegar, raisins, capers, garlic and a touch of tomato sauce.
This makes the perfect light and satisfying end of summer dinner on toasted baguette slices or spooned over quinoa and topped with toasted pine nuts. Enjoy while soaking up the last of the warm summer evening light!
Zucchini Eggplant Caponata
Notes: Recipe calls for 1/2 cup tomato sauce. I use a jarred marinara sauce that contains garlic, onion, salt and spices. If you use a plain tomato sauce, you might need to add additional salt. As always, taste as you go.
3 medium zucchini (~1.2 lb / 540 gr.), sliced into 1/4 inch coins.
4 Tbsp. avocado oil (plus extra for zucchini)
2 medium globe eggplant (~1 lb./450 gr.), cut into 1/2 inch dice (with skin on)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. raisins
2 Tbsp. capers
4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 cup (120 ml) tomato or marinara sauce
4 Tbsp. water
3/4 tsp. salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
Toasted pine nuts
Fresh herbs such as cilantro or parsley (optional)
Toasted baguette, sourdough or cooked quinoa
Preheat oven to roast at 400 F/200 C. Place zucchini coins on large baking sheet, drizzle with avocado oil (to taste), salt and pepper and mix to coat. Spread zucchini coins out in a single layer so they're not overlapping. (You want them to brown, not steam!) Roast for 12 minutes, or until golden brown in spots.
In the meantime, place 4 Tbsp. avocado oil in a heavy-bottomed, deep skillet over medium-medium high heat. Once hot, add chopped eggplant. Fry 4-5 minutes, stirring often so eggplant soaks up oil evenly. (If pan gets dry, add a touch more oil and stir around immediately.) Eggplant should be soft and wilted by now. Stir through minced garlic.
Reduce heat to medium. Transfer cooked zucchini to skillet with eggplant. Add raisins, capers, vinegar, tomato sauce, water and salt. Stir through and simmer for five minutes, partially covered.
Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and serve with bread or quinoa and topped with pine nuts and herbs if using.