25 February 2009

Eggplant Caponata - My version

From an erstwhile eggplant hater to making so many dishes with eggplant is quite a progress for me. I think eggplant is quite an adult taste and the smoky taste of roasted eggplant, even more so. I hardly know anyone who liked eggplant as a kid. Both S and me LURVE anything to do with a char grilled eggplant, and I can list at least 10 recipes in my regulars that start with this step. One of them is a caponata.

Though traditionally, it doesn't call for roasting the vegetable, I like using a mix of one roasted eggplant and one chopped as it is. I usually use this as a filling inside a hot dog roll to make a sub-like sandwich - along with either tomatoes or pickled jalapenos and cheese if I'm feeling very generous. If I don't have bread on hand, I like to toss this with penne and that tastes quite good too.

Here's my version of eggplant caponata, which is somewhat different from the original recipes, but it tastes good all the same.

Time taken - Under 30 minutes Makes enough for 12-14 sandwiches or in pasta for 8 people You may halve the recipe, but leftovers will stay in the fridge for around a week and you can have quick fix meals with this on hand.

2 large eggplants
3 tbsp olive oil
5 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 cup chopped whites and greens of spring onions (scallions)
3 large tomatoes chopped
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chilli flakes
4-5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp salt (or to taste)
Handful of fresh basil

Place on eggplant on the flame of a gas stove directly. Keep turning the sides until the skin is charred all over. Do not overdo this because we want to chop the flesh later and not mash it - so the eggplant should still be able to keep its shape somewhat. Once this cools, peel off the skin and roughly chop this into cubes. Keep aside. This will be used towards the end as it needs no further cooking.

Chop the other eggplant into small cubes with the skin on. Keep aside.

In a large pot, heat olive oil and throw in the minced garlic. After a few seconds, add the chopped spring onions. Saute for 3-4 minutes, until wilted.

Add the chopped raw eggplant first, sprinkle salt and saute along with the garlic and greens. After 3-4 minutes, keep this covered for 5 minutes or so until the vegetable is almost cooked. Add the tomatoes, herbs, chilli flakes balsamic vinegar and on a medium flame let this cook till tomatoes soften down and the vegetables come together.

Add remaining salt, chopped roasted eggplant and fresh basil. Toss well and check for salt and chilli, adding some more if you prefer so.

To assemble the sub, slice the hot dog roll in the middle, but keeping the two slices attached. Spoon a generous quantity of caponata between the two, stuffing it tightly. Also stuff in a couple of slices of tomato or pickled jalapeno and some bits of sliced cheese and grill on a hot buttered skillet or in a hot oven till crispy outside.
You can even have this as a cold sandwich. Makes for a good couch dinner and leftovers make a filling breakfast.

[if you are wondering what took me so long to come back on my blog, please read post below :)]


bluespriite said...

If you ever go to Mainland China, they have a fantastic curry called Sizzling Eggplant.. try it.. the eggplant lover in you will love it!

MeetaK said...

i lurve eggplant too and roasting it even more! so this sandwich is something you can make for me when i finally visit you!

Ashwini said...

Eggplant caponata looks yummmm..Love the flavour of roasted eggplant..

Lisa said...




Superchef said...

I LURVE eggplant too!! and WOW what a filling sandwich!

Divya Vikram said...

Looks really delicious. love the idea of using it in pasta.

Nandita said...

Hey BS - I don't know when I'll actually go out to dine in a restaurant for now, may be after a month or so when baby will be able to sit peacefully for a couple of hours :) till then its only take aways and S getting me food from fav restaurants!

Meeta- waiting for that beautiful day :) we have so many things listed that I doubt we'll do anything else other than cooking and eating

Ashwini - thanks - then you'll love this!

Lisa - thank you very much for your kind words - it is quite tough to capture him when he is awake and still as he keeps flailing his arms and legs so much that - this is one rare pic when he was still for a moment

Superchef and Divya - thanks for liking this. It also makes a great topping on bruschetta which i forgot to mention in the post.

Raghuveer said...

Was wondering why there had been no posts at all....Congratulations !
great blog

Simran said...

I loved eggplant as a child, but the only thing I would eat is baingan bhartha. I still refuse to eat it in any other form.

The sandwich looks great, and might be the second eggplant dish I end up liking - already added to my "to try" list

Anil P said...

I prefer roasted eggplant. Not all roasted eggplants taste the same, and I've had difficulty recognising which is which in the sabzi mandi.

Nandita said...

Thanks Raghuveer!

Simran - hope you like it.

Anil- You are right on that one - only one kind of eggplant succumbs well to roasting - atleast in my knowledge :)

A_and_N said...

I love eggplant in any form :D And caponata is a favourite :)

Aparna said...

This is something I should try. Don't love eggplant but there a few that I enjoy.
And you're right. I wouldn't eat it a sa kid, and now my daughter absolutely refuses to even come near it! :D

Sagar said...

Congratulations on the new bundle of joy! I am sure there is a whole new inspiration to your passion now!

PD said...

Hi Nandita

Great going with the blog and congratulations for the kid!! :)
I am a graduate student in the US and your blog is a boon for tasty quick recipes which are easy to make.
Were you in the US/abroad before? (because your recipes have a nice western touch to them)
I just wanted to say : Keep up the good work!

Good luck with the baby!

lesley said...

I think these look just superb!!
I'm glad I dropped by, I'm off to get the ingredients...thank you for sharing :0)

Sid Khullar said...

That looks convenient and tasty! I tend to be quite cliched when it comes to stuffing sandwiches. time for change perhaps.

Paz said...

Looks delicious!


Chris said...

This looks fresh and tasty!

Sunita said...

That looks so colourful and delicious, Nandita! I must try it out.
Will normal vinegar do?
BTW, I had mailed you... did you get it? Or is it floating somewhere in cyberspace?

Food Fanatic said...

mmm nice! good to see u back in action :)

recipe man said...

wow this looks great! im sure to try this out


Jaya said...

Congrats on the new addition to family and he looks so handsome :) ..
sandwhich looks so filling and delicious
hugs and smiles

Andy said...

Congrats on the new addition to your family!!

And Lovely recipe!!

Ruby said...

Loved the picture....

Pavithra said...

This is looking so yummy ... I luv subs

Noire said...

I am a novice cook but a foodie and I hope to find some delicious recipes here. You are right about eggplant, I dont know many kids who love it, but most adults do. Thank you for this.

iWrite2Know said...

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John said...

It looks so delicious
Thank for sharing

CHAITRA said...

Eggplant caponata looks great and yummy.
Drop in sometime to my place

pedatha1 said...

Dear nandita, the sub-caponata looks simply delicious. Like the recipe very much. Always a pleasure to come here. Cheers!

Rumela said...

I love eating breakfast and always try new recipes. I would love to try the eggplant caponata for breakfast. that looks tasty. caponata is also a healthy food option and can make a satisfying meal. the photos are amazing... I am already feeling hungry. thank you for shearing your post.

Shilpa said...

I want to try this. Looks so lovely.

AMIT said...

Will try it someday.

Lingerie news

Nagesh.MVS said...

Looks really delicious. love the idea of using it in pasta.Looks really delicious. love the idea of using it in pasta.

Nagesh.MVS said...

Looks really delicious. love the idea of using it in pasta.Looks really delicious. love the idea of using it in pasta.
Work From Home

Abhi said...

Hey Nandita,
Just made it as a fusion of urs and Nupur's version, came out delicious! thanks a bunch!

Gourmet Mama said...

Yum, these look delicious! I make an eggplant sandwich that uses seasoned cream cheese and tomatoes that is delicious, but it's high time for something new. Bookmarking this page for future use.

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