I had volunteer to make a caponata for a party last week and wanted to try something different from my old favorite Sicilian Caponata. The charred and smoky eggplant and onions - mixed with tomatoes, capers, and olives are fabulous, and especially with lamb or steak. If you are lucky enough to have any left, it makes a great pita sandwich.
This should be made at least 6-8 hours before serving (or up to 1 week).
Grilled Vegetable Caponata
makes about 6 cups or 12 servings
3 medium eggplants, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 large red onions, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 cup golden raisins
3/4 cup red wine
1 (28-ounce) can plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with their juice
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons drained capers
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Prepare a medium-hot grill.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Generously brush the eggplant and onion slices with the olive oil and arrange on separate baking sheets. Roast in the oven, turning once, 10 to 15 minutes, until soft.
3. Transfer the eggplant and onions to the grill and cook, turning often, until nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
4. Place the raisins in a small saucepan and cover with the wine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook 3 minutes. Set aside to allow the raisins to plump.
5. In a large bowl, combine the raisins and wine, the tomatoes, olives, vinegar, and capers. Chop the grilled eggplant and onions into small pieces and add to the tomato mixture; toss well to combine. Stir in the parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until the mixture mellows, 6 to 8 hours or over night (or up to 1 week).
6. Before serving, taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve warm, chilled, or at room temperature.