“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.”
IngredientsNutrition1⁄3 cupolive oil, approximately, divided2 lbs fresh eggplants, cut in 1/2-inch cubes4 teaspoonstable salt1 largered bell pepper, small chop1 largegreen bell pepper, small chop1 1⁄2 cups chopped celery1 largered onion, diced1⁄4 cupcapers, drained and rinsed6 anchovy fillets, drained and minced1⁄2 cupbalsamic vinaigrette1⁄4 cupbrown sugar, loosely packed6 ouncestomato paste28 ounces fire roasted diced tomatoes (Muir Glen brand preferred)1 tablespooncajun seasoning (Emeril’s Essense)1 teaspoonfresh ground black pepper1 cup pimento stuffed green olive, sliced1 cupblack olives, sliced1⁄2 cupvodka1⁄2 teaspoonTabasco sauce
DirectionsPlace 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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