Summer Vegetable Caponata

Submitted by Jessica Hersh

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 lbs summer vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, peppers, yellow squash, green beans)
  • 1 medium or 2 small onions
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large can small diced tomatoes in juice or 2 lbs fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2-3 Tbs capers
  • black pepper
  • salt

Prepare the eggplant, zucchini, and yellow squash as follows: wash, trim, and cut into small bite-sized pieces. Peel the onion and dice it. Peel the garlic and cut into thin slices. Put the oil, sugar, and balsamic vinegar into a heavy-bottomed pot and heat over medium high until bubbly. Add the eggplant and onion and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and burning. Add the rest of the vegetables (including tomatoes and garlic.) Add capers. Stir well, turn heat down to low and cover the pot.

If the mix seems very dry add half a cup of water – you want to allow this dish to stew for hours without drying out. Cook over low heat for at least 2 hours, checking water content and stirring every 10 minutes or so. When the dish is fully cooked, all the vegetables should be very soft and falling apart and it should be thick, not soupy. At this point, remove it from the heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot or allow to cool and serve cold. You can eat this as a salad, a side dish, an omelet filling, tossed with pasta, topping a frittata, as a dip for chips or bread, as a crostini topping, a sandwich filling, or just a dip-the-spoon in snack.

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