Monday, August 6, 2007

Caponata, the Italian salsa

I have recently discovered a delicious caponata that was given to me by a friend. Caponata is traditionally made of eggplant, onions, tomatoes, anchovies, olives, pine nuts, capers, and vinegar that has been cooked together with olive oil. It is a Sicilian dish. Generally, it is served warm temperate as a side dish, salad, or relish.

This particular caponata is made by a company called Sicilianaire. The owner of the company, Joe Romano, has canned his Italian mother's recipe for caponata to share with the rest of us. The recipe is a blend of sauteed eggplant cubes, red bell peppers, celery, oregano, tomato puree, basil, sugar, capers, red wine vinegar, olives, and fresh parsley. The caponata has well-balanced flavors. It has bite-size chunks so that you get a mix of the flavors with every bite. I like that the taste of the olives are subtle and are not overwhelming. And a plus is that, like salsa, this a healthy product with lots of vegetables. Check out the website for Silicianaire for information on how to purchase this product.

In additional to the usual uses, there are several things you can do with caponata that would make it worthwhile to keep a jar of this yummy stuff on hand. You can put it on a antipasto platter with Italians meats and cheese. The red color of the caponata would look wonderful on the platter. A very nice bruschetta could be made by smearing a bit of ricotta cheese on a piece of toasted bread, then add a dollop of the caponata, and top with a shaving of Parmesan cheese. This is a very easy and elegant appetizer that assembles quickly. Serve the caponata in a small dish and supply crostinis with which to scoop the relish right into your mouth. You could even top a bowl of pasta with this hearty caponata!

1 comment:

Gretchen said...

Dear Alice,

I may two comments still learning to use a blog. Excellent write-up on the caponata. We need your marketing savvy and joyful expertise at PwC. Keep up the great work.