Chef’s Note

“New Orleans inspired appetizer full of flavor. Serve warm or at room temp with crusty baguette slices. Leftovers make a great pizza topping, pasta sauce or cold salad.”








  • 13 cupolive oil, approximately, divided
  • 2 lbs fresh eggplants, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 teaspoonstable salt
  • 1 largered bell pepper, small chop
  • 1 largegreen bell pepper, small chop
  • 1 12 cups chopped celery
  • 1 largered onion, diced
  • 14 cupcapers, drained and rinsed
  • 6 anchovy fillets, drained and minced
  • 12 cupbalsamic vinaigrette
  • 14 cupbrown sugar, loosely packed
  • 6 ouncestomato paste
  • 28 ounces fire roasted diced tomatoes (Muir Glen brand preferred)
  • 1 tablespooncajun seasoning (Emeril’s Essense)
  • 1 teaspoonfresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup pimento stuffed green olive, sliced
  • 1 cupblack olives, sliced
  • 12 cupvodka
  • 12 teaspoonTabasco sauce
  • Directions

  • Place cubed eggplant in a large colander. (Eggplant skin adds color and texture, but eggplant can be peeled if the skin is tough or stringy.) Sprinkle with 4 tsp table salt and toss to coat all pieces. Place colander in sink and allow to stand for 1 hour to drain excess moisture.
  • Pour eggplant from colander onto 2 layers of paper towels. Cover with another layer of paper towels and gently press to remove more moisture.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in cast iron dutch oven. Saute bell peppers and celery until soft. Remove to a large bowl.
  • Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in dutch oven. Saute onions and garlic until tender. Add to bowl with peppers/celery.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in dutch oven. Saute eggplant cubes for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned, stirring often.
  • Return pepper/celery/onion/garlic mixture to the dutch oven.
  • Add all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover with lid, and simmer slowly for 45 minutes. Stir frequently.
  • Adjust seasoning to your liking.
  • Refrigerate for at least 24 hours; 3 days is even better.
  • Serve with lightly toasted baguette slices and crackers.
  • Caponata will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.Try serving leftovers as a cold salad, warmed and tossed with pasta corkscrews, or even as a pizza topping.
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