The Recipes

Spicy Eggplant Caponata

Ages ago - pre Montana, even - I went to Barcelona on 14th St. NW.  My friends and I went on a whim right at 5 pm instead of snacking and then heading out for dinner and were early enough to get a great table with no wait.  The manager played "wine roulette" with us and chose our wines and we had some of the best small plates I've had in a long time.

I think - I THINK - I came close to mastering the deliciousness that was the eggplant at Barcelona.  This is great warm, cold, or at room temperature.

Spicy Eggplant Caponata

Serves: 1 for a light meal     Time: 20-40 minutes     Difficulty: Doable on a weeknight; Easy Peasy AND a Show Stopper

INGREDIENTS:

- 1 small eggplant

- 1/4 sweet onion, diced

- 1/2 serrano pepper, diced

- 2 small sweet peppers, diced

- 1/4 c. golden raisins

- 1/4 roasted red bell pepper, roughly chopped

- 1/4 c. bourbon

- 1 T. tom paste

- 1 T. agave nectar

- 1/4 lemon, juiced

- salt

- pepper

- olive oil

- pita bread or crudite for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the eggplant into long planks.  Lay them on a baking sheet, drizzle them with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.  Roast in the oven for 30 minutes.

Put the raisins and bourbon in a bowl and set aside.

Heat 1 T. of olive oil in a pot.  Add the onion, serrano, and sweet peppers.  Season with salt and let them soften for 5-7 minutes.  Add the tom paste and agave and stir to combine.  Next, add the raisins and bourbon.  Let the mixture continue to simmer.

Scoop the flesh of the eggplant into a food processor and add the roasted pepper.  Puree.  Add the puree to the pot.  Season with pepper and let the mixture simmer for another 10 minutes.  Finish with the lemon juice and serve.