Sunday, January 9, 2011

What do you do when you have a fresh Eggplant & a French Baguette?

Make caponata of course!

But first, Jeff and I crossed another item off of our bucket list. Want to guess which one? Jeff finally ordered something new at our favorite restaurant Toast for the first time. He always orders the Peanut Butter & Banana Graham Cracker Crusted French Toast...and always wants to try something else but never can once seeing his favorite thing on the menu. Today though, he did it. We woke up bright and early to grab breakfast at our favorite coffee house before church and instead of ordering french toast, Jeff ordered an omelet! Of course we documented this occasion...

Their hot chocolate was good, but not as good as Panera.

I ordered the "Garden Scramble." It came with eggs, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes, spinach and onions . Also served with homefries and whole wheat toast. YUM!

Jeff ordered an omelet with sausage, peppers, tomatoes, salsa and a spicy cheese. Although it was good, he admitted that he was pretty upset as he watched the man sitting next to us chow down on the graham cracker crusted french toast. I promised him he would never have to order something new again, but that I was proud he did :)

We each ate half of our meals, leaving some for breakfast tomorrow!

After Toast we headed to church then back to one of Jeff's sister's house to hang with the family for a bit. We headed home where I found myself with a fresh Eggplant & French Baguette which I bought at Panera and thought I would make something yummy to eat while watching football later this evening. What is caponata you ask? I didn't know either until I started looking up recipes with the ingredients I had and came across it. Caponata is a sweet-and-sour Sicilian version of ratatouille. I served mine on top of some baguette!

They went from this (above) to this (below) in a matter of minutes...

  • 1 eggplant, cut and roasted
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 15 baby tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon tomato paste (or you could just use canned diced tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • pepper and salt to taste
First, cut the eggplant into pieces and roast in the oven until soft (at 350 degrees). Next, heat the olive oil on the stove top. Add the red pepper and heat until they soften. Add in the minced garlic. After the eggplant is roasted, add it to the pan along with the tomatoes. Finally, stir in the tomato paste, capers, and a pinch of salt and pepper and heat well for about 10-15 minutes on low heat. The vegetables should be soft and smell great, like garlic! Most people serve this room temperature (however I served mine warm).

I decided to toast the bread before topping it with the caponata. Simply cut the baguette into pieces and butter on either side, heating on the stove top for a minute or two.

Once the bread is toasted and veggies have simmered, serve to guests as an appetizer! You could also easily make this a meal by serving over pasta.

I'd say today was a pretty successful day! I'm off to eat one or two of these and watch football with the hubs. Hope you had a great day as well.


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