The King of Vegetables and My Eggplant Caponata

As a child, eggplants were my least favorite vegetable, much to my mother’s disappointment.  The only exception was Baba Ghannouj, a must at every Lebanese appetizer table.
You see, in the Middle East, the Eggplant is referred to as the King of Stuffed Vegetables due to its versatility and the large number recipes that feature this violet beauty.
When I was in my preteen years, I decided that every couple of weeks or so I would force my self to eat one food item that I did not like. When the eggplant’s turn came around, it took a while, but slowly I grew to love that little bit of creamy bitterness it offers.  Soon my favorite recipes included 4 eggplant dishes… 1) Eggplant rounds pan-fried in olive oil and topped with a Spicy Tomato-Onion medley; 2) Eggplant stuffed with Rice, Lamb, Onions, Tomatoes and Spices; 3) Eggplant-Beef boats with Pine Nuts; and 4) Baba Ghannouj.
The recipe below calls for the Caponata to be served cold as an appetizer.  Since it is versatile, I have heated it up and spooned it over hot whole wheat couscous that has been cooked in chicken or vegetable broth, for a wonderful meal!

Recipe

Serves @ 10 as an appetizer
  • 2 lbs. organic Eggplant, peeled and diced
  • 2 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 c. organic White Onion, small diced
  • ½ c. organic Bell Pepper, small diced
  • 2 Tbs. Garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 c. organic Tomatoes (peeled, seeded, and small diced)
  • ¼ c. organic Basil, fresh chopped
  • 2 Tbs. Sherry Vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. organic Lemon, squeezed
  • 1 packet Stevia
  • 1 small Green Chili, minced (opt.)
  • ¼ c. Green Olives, chopped
  • 2 tsp. Black pepper, coarsely ground
  • 1 Head of Green leaf Lettuce

Sauté diced eggplant in olive oil until lightly browned; removed from pan.
In the same pan, sauté onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and garlic for 2 minutes (vegetables should still have some texture, and garlic should not brown).
Mix everything else together in a large bowl with the cooked vegetables.
Refrigerate overnight.
Serve a large scoop of pate over a bed of lettuce and surround with toasted whole wheat pita bread triangles, or scoop onto whole wheat Tuscan bread that has a light smear of Vegenaise.

~ Buon Apetito!
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14 thoughts on “The King of Vegetables and My Eggplant Caponata

  1. dear hoda, i prepared this recipe and it was most excellent. i just added mushrooms to the mix, and a few sprigs of thyme, Eggplant is truly king.

    1. I don’t like eggplants a lot but iam going to try this receipie as an appetizer in Ramadan..but I have a recommendation try it with pasta..I cook the psta then put it in a Pyrex,pour tomato sauce that was cooked with onions garlic and thyme…on top of this I shower cubes of fried eggplant all over,cherry tomatoes..on top of all this I put buffalo mozzarella cheese and Parmesan..into the oven and tell me if you like it ..

      1. Layla, That sounds wonderful. Unfortunately I can’t have any cheese, but I could try it with Almond cheese! Thank you for the recipe! xx

        Hoda

  2. http://eatandgetmoving.wordpress.com/2012/06/20/wiaw-sensible-snacks-meals-for-sport-heroes/

    Hey! It’s been a while! 🙂 I posted my favorite kitchen sink recipe on my blog — well, not as a recipe — but there’s a picture of my dinner there = which is my most extravagant kitchen sink ever I think 😉 I’ll tell you what’s in it:

    – sauteed onion + garlic in olive oil & organic extra virgin red palm oil
    – sauteed eggplant
    – wild tomatoes halved
    – fresh parsley
    – shredded carrot
    – goat cheese
    – green bell pepper
    – yellow bell pepper
    – lemon zest + black pepper + a little cayenne + a little thyme

    So that’s my entry for your contest 😉
    XO

  3. I love eggplant in any form. Besides grilling it at home for wonderful sandwiches, we seek it out at Indian, Thai, Chinese, and Mediterranean restaurants. This caponata recipe will be a good summer staple for my kitchen.

    1. Yes to all those ways to have eggplant. My favorite Indian dish is BAIGAN BHARTA and the Spicy Chinese Eggplant! If only i could figure out a way to cook them without the oil… siiigh. I hope the recipe is a success. Cheers, and thanks for stopping by!

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