I love eggplant and have been buying some weekly all summer long. For some reason, I never thought to make caponata til a couple of days ago. I'm not really sure what's in traditional Italian caponata, but I used a recipe from Mario Batali that I found online (linked below). In short, it was fabulous and a feast for all senses! Another reason to love Mario...
As some of you probably know by now, I'm of the "recipes are guidelines only" breed, even if I'm making something for the first time. My modifications: used Japanese eggplant; dried cranberries instead of currants; diced tomato instead of tomato sauce (since tomatoes are great right now!); lemon juice and zest instead of orange. I also added a little white wine. Oh, and I probably used about half the oil since Mario tends to be heavy-handed in that arena (does he get kickbacks from the olive oil comission?)
What I really loved about this recipe was the cinnamon and cocoa powder, which perfumed my whole house and added such a unique flavor to this perfectly balanced dish. This caponata was very Moroccan-like. I don't care much for cinnamon but it really worked well here.
I served it alongside a grilled ribeye steak which went well w/ it. The rich beefiness stood up to the assertive flavors of the caponata nicely. I still have a fair amount left and am trying to think of good partners for it. I'm glad that it can be stored for about 5 days. What is usually served w/ caponata? Was thinking about mixing it in pasta, but pasta and cinnamon weirds me out. Maybe a couscous would be better. Maybe on bruschetta? Thanks for any other ideas that I can stockpile since I plan to make this again and again.