Copious caponata

IMG_0159That’s about 3 pounds of caponata, which strikes me as a very reasonable amount, considering how magically delicious it is.

IMG_0167This amount served 4 as an appetizer, so I’m going to be noshing on the leftovers for quite some time. Lucky me.

This recipe comes from a family friend, who printed it out for me on my last visit home. According to the document, the recipe originated from Nick Cipponeri, owner and chef at Creamery Hill Cafe, in Washington, MO. The ingredients list is long, but aside from some chopping and measuring, it’s incredibly simple to put together.


2 lbs eggplant, cubed

2 peppers, roasted and peeled

2 cups celery, chopped

1 cup onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup white wine

1/4 cup sugar (I would not recommend this much sugar, especially if you’re not going to use anchovies. I tasted after I added the sugar and before adding the anchovies, and I felt compelled to use the anchovies based on the extreme sweetness. Thankfully, that worked out).

3 cups tomatoes, chopped, seeded and skinned (I used canned whole tomatoes and just chopped them up myself, and didn’t worry about the seeds. Worked fine).

1/4 cup tomato paste

6-12 green olives, chopped

6-12 kalamata olives, chopped

2 Tbsp capers

4 anchovy filets, chopped

Thyme, basil and crushed fennel seed to taste (I had all these things in their dried form, and used about 1 tsp each, maybe a bit more of the thyme and basil).

2 Tbsp chopped parsley

salt and pepper to taste

3/4 cups poached golden raisins (I omitted these).

roasting the pepps


The recipe says, saute the eggplant in olive oil until brown (30 min), but my recipe came with a little extra wisdom via a post-it note, and I went with its prescription to oven roast the eggplant, covered, at 375. You can decide.

Meanwhile, saute the celery, onion and garlic in olive oil until light brown. Mix in the rest of the ingredients and cook briefly. That’s it!

Serve as an app with cracker or bread.


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