I really LOVE this spicy Eggplant Caponata as a salsa/dip/pasta sauce, and it’s been getting rave reviews from friends who have tried it.
This as spicy as you want it to be eggplant caponata is sooo adaptable – it works as a pasta sauce or sandwich spread, a dip for tostitos or firm crackers (that’s how I used it), or to top toasted bread. Any way you use it, it’s seriously yummy! This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart – thanks Martha! After seeing it on her blog, I knew I had to change it up for a more heart-healthy version. You can check her link for the original recipe, if you like.
As always, my main motivation is to use ingredients that will help lower blood pressure, and/or lower bad LDL cholesterol.
Eggplant already has LDL reducing capabilities, and by incorporating heart-healthy walnuts to the mix, as well as replacing the refined white sugar with agave (no, Dorothy, sweeteners are not all the same), I’ve upped the healthy quota.
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1large onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp. agave nectar, plus more if needed
- 1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- sea salt to taste
- Granish with fresh basil leaves
- Heat oil over medium-high in a large pot
- Add onion, raisins, pine nuts, garlic, and red-pepper flakes
- Cook until onion has softened, stir as needed
- Add tomato paste, cocoa powder, and sugar
- Cook and stir a couple of minutes
- Add eggplant, vinegar, and 1/3 cup water
- Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is tender and mixture is thick, 7 to 10 minutes
- Season with salt and more agave if needed
- Garnish with basil leaves.
- Caponata can be refrigerated up to 5 days in an airtight container- but I've never had it last that long!
- I often make it as a dip for sturdy crackers or toasted, crusty bread. It's also great as a pasta sauce - just thin it out a little.