Monday, August 15, 2011

Honey Roasted Eggplant Caponata

If you're like us, just about now, you have a back up of eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes and have probably started to tire of ratatouille.  Try this!  It's almost like an eggplant relish, with tart-but-sweet flavors that go well with grilled meats or, on its own as a salad.  We've even used this as a bruschetta topping on some toasted baguette slices.  The eggplant needs to sit for about 2 hours, so this recipe takes some advanced planning.

Honey Roasted Eggplant Caponata
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
olive oil (about 3 or 4 tablespoons)
1 medium zucchini (or summer squash), cut in 1/2 in dice
1 large sweet onion, cut in 1/2 in dice
2 large (or 4 small) fresh plum tomatoes, peeled if you like, and diced
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bay leaf
1-2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup honey
salt and pepper

Place the eggplant in a strainer. Sprinkle with the salt and toss to coat thoroughly.  Place strainer over a bowl and let sit for 2 hours.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Rinse the eggplant well.  Rinse it again for good measure.  Squeeze out as much water from it as you can.
Coat the bottom of a roasting pan (or cookie sheet with a lip) with oil.  Place the eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, onion, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and capers in a bowl and toss together.  Add the vinegar and 1-2 more tablespoons of olive oil and toss to coat again.  Spread out in an even layer on the roasting pan.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and roast for about 45 minutes to an hour, until the vegetables are very soft and the liquid is almost evaporated.  Some of the veggies will brown, which is good!  Cool for about 10-15 minutes, then drizzle on the honey, starting with 1/8th cup then taste.  Add more honey to suit your palate.  You can serve this at room temperature or chilled.  Makes about 6 1/2 cup servings.

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