Thank you to Harvest Stone® for sponsoring this post; their USDA organic, certified gluten-free, and non-GMO crackers are a delicious pairing with this Caponata recipe. All opinions stated are my own.
Caponata is a delicious sweet and sour Sicilian Eggplant Relish that’s perfect food for any summer gathering.
There are so many gatherings that happen in the summer…Independence Day is right around the corner and the next two months will be full of block parties, pool parties, BBQs, picnics, and camping trips before Labor Day rolls around. There’s almost always something going on; a cause to celebrate or a reason to get together. Which means most of us are always in need of fresh new summer recipe ideas!
Caponata is a sweet and sour Sicilian Eggplant Relish that I eyed up about four years ago and has been on my list of things to make since then. With summer officially here and this recipe being full of beautiful summer produce, I knew it was high time I finally made it happen.
This is my own take on Caponata instead of the classic version. The base of this recipe is eggplant, and it should have a sweet, sour, and salty flavor thanks to sugar, vinegar, and capers. Some variations also have olives and/or seafood. I put a few of my own twists on this one; instead of sugar, I use honey and I use much less than the typical amount. I also add pine nuts for nutty crunch, and fresh basil because it brightens up the flavors of everything else.
I served my Caponata along with Harvest Stone® Organic Sprouted Native Grains Simply Olive Oil & Salt Crackers, which not only compliment the flavor of this relish well, but are also the perfect blank slate for any number of things, such as a cheese tray, or dip like hummus or guacamole. Harvest Stone® crackers are USDA organic, certified gluten-free, and non-GMO, complimenting a health-conscious lifestyle without compromising taste.
What’s your favorite healthy dish to bring to a summer gathering?
- ¾ lb (340 g) globe eggplant, diced into ¼-inch squares
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium or 2 small-ish yellow onions, diced
- 2 medium stalks celery, chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- ¾ lb (340 g) plum (Roma) tomatoes (about 6 small tomatoes), diced
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons small capers, drained and coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon each salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- Small handful fresh basil
- Harvest Stone® Organic Sprouted Native Grains Simply Olive Oil & Salt Crackers
- Toss the eggplant with 3 tablespoons oil and spread it out on a baking sheet. Roast until tender and starting to brown, about 20 to 25 minutes in a 425F oven, tossing once halfway through.
- While the eggplant roasts, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large, deep skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until softened and starting to brown in spots, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and tomato and sauté until the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the stock, turn the heat down to medium-low to low, cover the skillet, and cook until the tomatoes are starting to soften, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the eggplant to the tomato mixture and cook (covered) over low until the eggplant is very soft and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the vinegar, honey, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes and cook (uncovered) until thickened, about 2 to 5 minutes.
- Serve warm, room temperature, or cold topped with pine nuts and basil along with Harvest Stone crackers.