Planned a surprise bday party for my husband, thankfully i pulled the surprise very successfully. Of course, his friends helped me in keeping the surprise and engaged him, while i was preparing for the party. It was a drinks party with snacks . Since the time was 7 pm onward.. i had to make substantially filling snacks, which could substitute dinner. I chose to make Caprese Skewers, Caponata with Toasted Garlic Bread, Hummus, Salsa and bought Aioli, Toasted thin bread. Later, served Chicken Tikka and Chicken Skewers (in south asian sauces marinate) and Falafel in Pita Bread Pockets and for dessert i made Chocolate cupcakes with Raspberry Cream Cheese topping. I was happy with party, firstly, because hubby was really surprise to see his friends home and with little decoration for the party, and secondly, that all the food got over by the end of the party and i didn't have make space in the refrigerator for the leftovers!
While, i was searching for recipes for the party, i came across Caponata on a website called Italian food forever. In my earlier parties, I had already served diff. bruchesttas, but at the same time i wanted to serve something with bread. So then, i chose to make this. It requires quite a bit of cooking, and since it was surprise party, i couldn't have cooked in front of him, so i cooked after midnight, when hubby was deep asleep.
Caponata, is a tomato based eggplant spread, with celery, onion, capers and Olives ... Its a great side dish too ..I took the leftover once as a side dish to a all girls dinner, it was a hit and once i used as Pasta sauce.. Whichever way i have used, its been hit!
This can be made in advance and freeze it!
You can try using either green or black olives. I chose black olives in the recipe and used balsamic vinegar instead of wine vinegar.
1 Medium long Eggplant
2 Teaspoons Salt
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
3 Small Onions, Chopped
2-3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 Stalks Celery, Chopped
1 Can Chopped Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Olives,Chopped
1/4 Cup Capers
1/4 Cup Fresh Chopped Parsley
1/4 Cup Wine Vinegar ( i used Balsamic vinegar)
Salt & Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
To Serve: Garlic Toast
1. Peel the eggplants, and cut into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces.
2. Put in a colander, sprinkle with the salt and leave 30 minutes.
3. In a large pan, add a few tablespoons of the oil, and when hot add the onions, and cook until soft.
4. Add the celery and garlic, and cook 5 minutes.
5. Add the tomatoes and cook an additional 10 minutes or until the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is thick.
7. Add the rest of the oil into a frying pan and once it is hot, add the diced eggplant.
8. Cook until the eggplant is tender and turning golden brown.
9. Add the eggplant to the tomato mixture with the rest of the ingredients, and cook on low for another 15 minutes.
10. Check the seasonings and let come to room temperature before serving.