Time 45 minutes
Yield 4 appetizer servings
Here is an easy, fast recipe for an appetizer redolent with the deep flavors of summer. Wait until the caponata is finished before toasting the bread. (The New York Times)
Featured in: The Temporary Vegetarian: Eggplant Caponata Crostini.
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Spanish onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves garlic
1 eggplant, about 3/4 pound, cut into 3/4 inch dice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tomatoes, cut into 3/4 inch dice
½ cup golden raisins
1/3 cup chopped capers
¼ baguette, sliced diagonally into eight 1/2-inch-thick rounds, or other slices of crusty bread
Aged balsamic vinegar, for sprinkling
1-2 leaves basil, sliced into a chiffonade
Fleur de sel, Maldon salt, or other flaky sea salt
1. Place a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and the onion, and sauté until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and continue to sauté until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
2. Wash skillet and return to medium-high heat. Add 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and allow to heat until shimmering. Working in batches if necessary, add a single layer of eggplant, and toss to coat in oil. Fry, stirring frequently, until tender and evenly browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Wash skillet and return to medium heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and tomatoes. Sauté until tomatoes are tender but have not lost their shape, and almost all the liquid has evaporated.
4. In a large bowl, combine eggplant, onion mixture, tomatoes, raisins and capers. Toss gently to mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. To serve, toast the sliced bread, and top with a large spoonful of the caponata mixture. Sprinkle with a few drops of vinegar, and garnish with the basil chiffonade, and a few grains of flaky sea salt.
Adapted from David Seigal, executive Ccef, The Tangled Vine Wine Bar & Kitchen