Thursday, August 18, 2011

Caponata: A late-summer gem

It's easy to be sick of cooking by mid-August. Maybe our grills are played out, or we're sick of salads, or just the sight of more caprese makes us roll our eyes (okay personally, I never tire of caprese... but I've heard this August complaint from others). If you can bear to turn on your oven (maybe a random cool breeze, blowing in from the future one night?), make this dish to spice things up. It's the best of August's produce, deepened into something that promises cooler weather ahead. All at once, this caponata is somehow bright and deep, light and substantial, sweet and savory, zesty and earthy. It's delicious eaten cold the next day, when it'll probably be sweltering again. I might recommend keeping the leftovers in your refrigerator and regularly opening them up just to smell them. You know, if you're into that sort of thing. Whatever you're into, see if this dish doesn't help you bid summer adieu beautifully.

Eggplant and Pepper Caponata
Adapted from Cookthink

3 small eggplants, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
4 bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch squares
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
10 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 500F and put a roasting pan in the oven to preheat. Toss the eggplant and peppers with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Put them in the oven to roast, turning occasionally, until they're tender and brown in spots, 30-45 minutes.

2. Let the eggplants and peppers cool a few minutes, then toss them in a large bowl with the remaining olive oil, vinegar and basil. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, room temperature or cold.


  1. I'm a sucker for the c-word.....capers that is! I am always looking for different ways to cook eggplant-I never seem to know what to do with it.

  2. I've never cooked eggplant but this sounds delish. I'm a huge fan of bell peppers so this is right up my ally. Yum!

  3. add some cheese, bread and wine and that would make a perfect summer meal!


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