OT: A "discussion" about eggplants

So eggplants were on sale and I picked up three of them as an offering (hopefully not burnt) to my wife. I decided not to bother with eggplant parm (the low hanging fruit for me) and to make a ratatouille of some sort. That started the “discussion” (it never pays for me to argue with SWMBO). While I was going to do the cooking, she insisted that I use her recipe, rather than mine. Frankly they both work well, are equally easy to make (the work consisting mostly of chopping) but are different in final character. Needless to say, I ended up making hers (with the only substitution, besides scaling the size, as using rice vinegar instead of wine and wine vinegar to give it a bit of “sparkle”). But I figured I’d post both versions for others to heckle:


Eggplant Caponata (similar to Ratatouille)
This can be served with the fish as an appetizer or with the meal as a salad. Although the list of ingredients is long, you just throw them all in a pot.

1/3 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4-5 stalks celery, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped,
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
8 ounce fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 eggplant, diced in 3/4" squares (with skin)
2 small zucchini cut in half lengthwise and sliced
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 (15 ounce) chopped tomatoes or (8 oz. tomato paste and 1/4 cup water)
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 cup red wine
1/8 cup wine vinegar
1/2 cup halved black or green olives
Optionally, 3 tablespoons pine nuts, 2 tablespoons capers
Optionally 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
salt and pepper to taste

In a large saucepan, sauté onions and celery in the olive oil until translucent.
Then add peppers, mushrooms and garlic and continue sautéing as you dice eggplant.
Add eggplant and zucchini as you dice them. Add oregano.

Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for about 1/2 hour. Stir frequently.
Add tomato sauce, olives, capers and pignoli nuts.

Simmer for another 10 minutes
Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes

Add vinegar, wine, sugar, (Tabasco), salt and pepper to taste
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Cool and refrigerate before serving. Serves 12-16.
Can be frozen

Technically, this is a ratatouille, rather than a caponata or caponatina as the zucchini and bell peppers have been substituted for an eggplant

Jeff’s Eggplant Melange

1 large onion diced

4 or 5 stalks of celery sliced in small pieces

1 or 2 carrots sliced thin

2 Tbls. Olive Oil

2 Eggplants with skin on (cut into 3/4 inch squares)

2 Zucchini (sliced)

2 Bell peppers (julienned)

1 Can of whole plum tomatoes - drained (15 Oz.)

1 Can of diced plum tomatoes - drained (15 Oz.)

1 3/4 cup chickpeas, cooked or canned and drained

1/4 Cup of Pignoli Nuts (optional)

8 Cloves of Garlic minced

1/2 bunch parsley chopped, divided

1/2 bunch cilantro, finely chopped (can substitute 1 Tablespoon herbe de Provence)
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1 tsp baharat seasoning (you may substitute 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp cumin and 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg)

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 ½ oz pomegranate molasses

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Salt & Pepper, sugar and/or balsamic vinegar to taste

Prepare vegetables before beginning recipe

Place eggplant and zucchini in a large bowl and add water to cover. Add 1 tablespoon salt, mix well. Place a pot lid on top to keep the eggplant under water for 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry.

In a large saucepan Sauté onions, carrots and celery on a low flame until translucent and caramelized. Add the sliced bell peppers and sauté until soft

Add Eggplant, zucchini and garlic, mix well and simmer over low heat (about 30 to 35 minutes) until the eggplant is tender.

Add Tomatoes (and liquid until you get the consistency that you like), pignoli nuts, spices, pomegranate molasses and chickpeas.

Simmer for another 10 minutes. Decide if it needs some sugar or balsamic vinegar to balance taste

Remove from heat & let stand for ten minutes.

Salt & pepper to taste.

Place in serving dish and garnish with fresh parsley, basil or oregano. Serve warm or at room temperature.



Well. Now I’m hungry. And there is no eggplant nor squash in the house. I wonder what we planned for supper. Might end up with tuna sandwiches. Oh wait… this isn’t the LBYM board. :slight_smile:

ThyPeace, never mind about the Ziploc bags.


(We had tuna sandwiches. I had olives and a pickle with mine, DH just had raw veggies.)

ThyPeace, and we watched three episodes of She-Hulk.