CAPONATA

caponata1.jpg

Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil
3-1/2 cups 1/4-inch dice unpeeled eggplant (about 1-1/4 pounds)
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup finely chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped pitted green olives
3 tablespoons chopped drained bottled capers
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
1-1/2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
3 tablespoons golden raisins
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted lightly
3 plum tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch diced (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leafed parsley leaves

Preparation:
In a heavy skillet heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately high heat until it hot but not smoking, in it cook the eggplant, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until it is tender, and transfer it to a bowl.

To the skillet add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil and in it cook the onion and the celery over moderate heat, stirring, for 5 minutes.

Add the olives, the capers, the vinegar, the sugar, the raisins, the pine nuts, and the tomatoes and cook the mixture, covered, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until it is cooked through and the celery is tender, and transfer it to the bowl.

Stir in the parsley, let the caponata cool, and chill it, covered,overnight. Season the caponata with salt and pepper.

Makes 4 servings.

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Photography by Nyaa Birdies-Perch

MEDITERRANEAN PASTA SALAD with OLIVES and CAPERS

penne-pasta-salad.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups diced seeded plum tomatoes
  • 2 cups chopped fresh fennel (about 1 medium bulb)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup drained capers
  • 16 ounces penne pasta

Preparation:

Whisk olive oil, tomato paste, vinegar, and garlic in small bowl to blend. Season dressing with salt and pepper.

Combine tomatoes, fennel, basil, onions, olives, and capers in large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let tomato mixture stand at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours, tossing occasionally.

Cook penne in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta; rinse with cold water and drain again. Transfer pasta to large bowl. Pour dressing over and toss to coat. Add tomato mixture and toss to blend.

Makes 12 servings.

From Bon App├ętit July 2003

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Photography by Nettsu