Eggplant Caponata with Golden Raisins

As a nod to the grape harvest, chef Ben Towill of Silkstone and The Fat Radish restaurant in New York City adds golden raisins to this tangy caponata. It's delicious on toast or with pecorino cheese.


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  • Servings: 10

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  • 3/4 pound eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons golden raisins
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 celery rib, finely diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 medium tomato, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pitted green olives
  • 1/2 tablespoon capers
  • 1/2 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 30 baguette slices, brushed with olive oil and toasted

How to make this recipe

  1. In a colander, sprinkle the eggplant with 1 teaspoon of salt and toss; let stand for 30 minutes. Squeeze out any excess water.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, soak the raisins in hot water until softened and plump, about 10 minutes. Drain.

  3. In a medium saucepan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the onion and celery, cover and cook over moderately low heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the red bell pepper, garlic and jalapeño and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until shiny, about 1 minute. Add the tomato and cook over moderately high heat, stirring a few times, until it begins to break down, about 2 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.

  4. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil until shimmering. Add the drained eggplant and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is very tender, about 3 minutes longer.

  5. Transfer the eggplant to the bowl and add the olives, capers, raisins and sherry vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Let the caponata cool to room temperature and serve with the baguette toasts.

Make Ahead

The caponata can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Serve at room temperature or lightly chilled.

Contributed By Photo © Michael Turek Published October 2010

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