Caponata with Kalamata Olives and Asiago Cheese

Andres Barrera's version of caponata, the tangy Sicilian eggplant dish, mixes in olives, zucchini and yellow squash and is topped with shaved Asiago cheese.


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  • Servings: 6 to 8 servings

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  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large eggplants (1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1-inch dice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 medium zucchini (1 pound), cut into 1-inch dice
  • 2 yellow squash (1 pound), cut into 1-inch dice
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 large celery ribs, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • One 16-ounce can plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped oregano
  • One 3-ounce piece aged Asiago cheese, shaved into strips with a vegetable peeler (about 3/4 cup)
  • Baguette slices, for serving

How to make this recipe

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar with the sugar and boil over moderately high heat until reduced to 3 tablespoons, about 5 minutes. Let cool.

  2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the diced eggplant, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to a large bowl. Wipe out the skillet.

  3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet and heat until shimmering. Add the diced zucchini and yellow squash, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the squash to the bowl with the eggplant.

  4. Add the garlic, celery and onion to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and cook until all of the vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer to the bowl with the eggplant and squash.

  5. Add the tomatoes, olives, parsley, oregano and balsamic syrup to the bowl and fold gently. Season the caponata with salt and pepper. Transfer to a clean bowl. Garnish with the Asiago cheese and serve with the baguette slices.

Make Ahead

The caponata can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Contributed By Photo © Cedric Angeles Published April 2009

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