Eggplant Caponata Stew
This dish highlights one of the great vegetables of summer: eggplant. But if you aren't a fan of the thick skin on eggplant, Japanese eggplants are a great alternative because they have thinner skins. You can substitute whatever fresh summer produce you have lying around for any of the vegetables. For extra protein, add 1/2 cup of walnuts, a can of cannellini beans, or some ground chicken or turkey. Scramble recipe tester Samantha McKenzie shared her kids’ reviews: “My 10-year-old proclaimed, ‘I don't like eggplant but I love this dish!’ My 6-year-old said, ‘best test recipe ever!’”
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 shallot finely chopped, or use 1/2 onion, 2 cloves garlic, or 2 green onions
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 1 zucchini or yellow squash halved lengthwise and sliced
- 1 lb. Japanese or regular eggplant or use fairytale eggplants, chopped
- 2 tomatoes chopped, or use 15 oz. canned diced tomatoes
- 1 Tbsp. capers or use chopped green olives
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves chopped, or use some basil and some oregano or parsley
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, and when it is hot, add the shallots.
- Stir them for about 30 seconds until they are fragrant, then add the peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes (you can add them as you chop, they don’t all need to go in at precisely the same time), and sauté them for about 5 minutes until they start to get tender.
- Stir in the capers, salt, and vinegar, cover the pan, reduce the heat if necessary to keep any liquid simmering, and steam everything for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the lid and continue sautéing the vegetable mixture for about 20 more minutes or until any liquid has thickened and the vegetables are very tender. Stir in the herbs and let them soften for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Serve it immediately, topped with about 1 Tbsp. of cheese per serving, or refrigerate the stew for up to 4 days or freeze it for up to 3 months.
Slow Cooker Directions:
- Omit the oil. Combine all ingredients except the cheese in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 - 10 hours or on high for 4 - 5 hours. Serve topped with feta as directed. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)
Do Ahead or Delegate: Chop the shallot, the eggplant, and the tomatoes if using fresh, chop the bell pepper, halve and slice the zucchini, or fully prepare and refrigerate or freeze the stew. Scramble Flavor Booster: Add 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes with the shallots, use garlic salt instead of regular salt, and season the dish at the table with freshly ground black pepper. Tip: When you chop halved vegetables like zucchini, carrot, or eggplant, make sure and put the flat sides down on the cutting board for quick, easy and safe slicing. Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 144, Total Fat: 10g, 14.5%; Saturated Fat: 3g, 12.5%; Cholesterol: 8mg, 3%; Sodium: 762mg, 32%; Total Carbohydrate: 14g, 4.5%; Dietary Fiber: 6g, 21%; Sugar: 7g; Protein: 4g Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
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