Anyone familiar with the Wall Street Journal weekend paper has probably seen the “Slow Food Fast” column. It’s one of my favorite features. Just as it sounds, the article features a chef who shares a recipe that includes seasonal food that can be prepared relatively fast.
Love the concept: local and fast. What could be better? I frequently clip these recipes and on occasion actually make one. I had clipped out a recipe for Eggplant Caponata by Chef Dave Pasternack, who has two restaurants in New York City.
This eggplant recipe I’ve made a few times because it is so easy and really dresses up a meal. Eggplants were on sale this week and I was inspired to make this dish which I put on top of grilled flank steak.
According to the article, caponata is akin to Sicilian ketchup – apparently, a condiment the Italians like to slather on everything. While I can imagine slathering caponata on everything, saying this flavorful dish is similar to ketchup is a bit of a put down.
Caponata is sweet and sour, with a touch of saltiness from the olives. Delish and definitely something worth adding to your repertoire.
*Note that I have included pine nuts in the recipe since it is typically included in caponata. I always omit the nuts because my husband has a nut allergy but I am sure it is fabulous with the pine nuts.
1 medium size eggplant, cut into 1/2″ cubes
course salt and ground pepper
1/3 C olive oil
1 clove of garlic, diced
1/2 small onion, finely diced
1 bay leaf
18 black olives, pitted and chopped
1 T raisins
1 T pine nuts*
In large sauté pan, heat about 3 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. In batches, add eggplant in single layer and sauté until brown and tender. Set aside eggplant, add about 1 tablespoon of oil to pan and turn heat down to medium and add garlic and onions. Cook until onion is translucent and garlic is brown. Return eggplant to pan and stir in olives, raisins, pine nuts, balsamic vinegar and bay leaf. Turn heat up to medium-high and sauté until vinegar cooks off and caponata is almost dry. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve on top of grilled steak, meat of your choice or as a side dish.