Monday, October 4, 2010

Caponata or Ratatouille or Neither?

When I realize that the local farmers' market and the CSA are winding down, I go into a "stock the root cellar" frenzy.  I purchase great quantities of fall and winter squash, sweet potatoes, beets, onions and garlic that will would keep there if I actually had one.  I do, however, have a cool and dry (most of the time) basement where I can lay these vegetables out and have them at hand all winter.

The things that won't keep in their natural state, I blanch and freeze or turn into various sauces.  This one is sort of a sauce, sort of a stew and delicious.  

With apologies to the Italians, the French and Pixar Studios, I give you caponata or ratatouille (you'll have to rent the movie on your own).

We like this on toasted bread or pasta.  It makes a delicious first course.  I had a bowl for lunch.

(end of summer stew)

l large eggplant cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 tbsps salt
1/4 cup olive oil
3 stalks celery cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 green pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 28 ounce can chopped plum tomatoes
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
10 green olives thinly sliced
3 ounces capers, drained and rinsed
freshly ground pepper to taste

Place the eggplant in a colander set over a large  bowl.  Sprinkle with the salt and let stand for an hour.  Drain, rinse and pat dry.

In a large pan, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onions, celery and the red and green peppers.  Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until the vegetables start to give up their juices--three to five minutes.  Stir in the garlic and saute for one minute more.  

Add the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, sugar, olives and capers.

Simmer, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 20 minutes.

This freezes well.

My lunch


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Please...delete my comments. I would have privately emailed if there was a way.

  3. This makes me so happy that the farmer's markets near me are open year round! Although you are definitely doing an awesome job with using up the goods while they last! Ratatouille or matter what you call it this looks delicious.

  4. Vegetarian is perfect for a meatless Monday. I am eating leftovers but would have really enjoyed this end of the summer stew.

  5. amazing, a lunch that looks as good as it tastes. beautiful in the bowl and sounds delish. mother used to do that, gather up and put in basement or freezer.

  6. What a great lunch! It looks delicious and love all the beautiful colors of it!

  7. Hi Bonnie, That looks so hearty... Love that it's called the End of Summer... I'm sure you can add any veggie you have left-over which you want to use.. My Mama used to call it the "Cleaning out the Frig" meal... Looks delicious --and I'm sure that it is... YUM!!!

  8. Yum! Looks delicious. My grandma used to make something similar to this too. She always had a garden. Too bad it didn't rub off on me!

  9. I saw the movie, not as good as some other Pixar films like "Up" and "Finding Nemo". And I don't know if I've ever known what this is! You keep those things in your basement ALL winter, yikes! I got the smoked salmon over the weekend! How long will it keep after I open it?

  10. One of my favorite dishes. Lovely flavor composition. Ratatouille is always a favorite in my home. As is the film, love that film.

    Be well

  11. Yes, the end of summer. I'm fortunate to live in an area where we have all year farmer's markets and CSA availability! I used to live in the windy city so I feel for you. This looks great! I love all the vegetables.

  12. That is my kind of perfect lunch; all those ingredients seem to blend so well together; great picture. Our little market has also closed down for the season.

  13. Oh yum, and YES, I love the kale chips too!

    Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

  14. Or, maybe both? This looks just beautiful! Like you, I really stocked up the last time I was at my favorite farmers' market too. Bushels of things! You're very lucky to have a cool basement for storage. I have to keep mine in the garage which (usually) stays above freezing.

  15. This looks amazing! I think I could eat the whole thing!!!

    Thank you for visiting me the other day...Monday hugs to you!

  16. I just made a similar recipe the other night. I love savoring the last bit of summer goodness! I need to bulk up on some roots for the winter months too...I'm going to the farmer's market on Saturday with that goal in mind. Thanks for sharing (now I want to watch a movie about a mouse!)

  17. I love this and forgot to make it this summer. Sometimes I add rice, but I like the idea of olives that you added. It's great to have a bunch of this in the frig to eat from!

  18. By whatever name it goes, it is gorgeous. Our markets will close the weekend before Thanksgiving, so know that I'm very envious that yours remain open. I hope all is well. Blessings...Mary

  19. Fleeting flavors of summer- so glad you got to freeze some for later- it looks delicious!

  20. This looks delicious in every way :)

  21. A nice glass of wine and some crusty bread is all I'd need to go along with this - it looks wonderful!


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