I’d had a jar of Kalamata olives sitting in the refrigerator for awhile with no idea what I was going to do with them. My husband and children don’t care for them and I tend to not cook only for myself, so there they sat. Then I came across Food & Wine’s™ recipe for Caponata with Kalamata Olives and Asiago Cheese©. After a quick review of the recipe I knew it was one my family would likely enjoy, so I put it on the menu. After all, they love anything they can scoop up with slices of baguette. I made a small change. I cut everything smaller than recommended. I wanted everything small enough that they wouldn’t pick up chunks of food and ask what they were. I wanted to make sure each bite of baguette had bits of all the flavors on it. The dish was a success! I hadn’t planned to keep the recipe. I enjoyed it but I didn’t think the others would want it again. Then my husband suggested we make it the next time his brother’s family comes over. I guess kalamata olives are fine as long as they’re small enough you don’t realize what you’re eating. 🙂
Caponata with Kalamata Olives and Asiago Cheese© by Food & Wine Magazine®
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 large eggplants (1 1/2 pounds) cut into 1/2-inch dice
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 medium zucchini (1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 yellow squash (1 pound) cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 large celery ribs, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 (16 oz) can plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
1 cup pitted kalamata olives, quartered
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
2 Tbsp chopped oregano
4 oz aged Asiago cheese, shredded
baguette slices, for serving
- In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar with the sugar and boil over moderately high heat until reduced to 3 Tbsp, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat 3 Tbsp of olive oil until shimmering. Add the diced eggplant, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to a large bowl. Wipe out the skillet.
- Add the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil to the skillet and heat until shimmering. Add the diced zucchini and yellow squash, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the squash to the bowl with the eggplant.
- Add the garlic, celery, and onion to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes longer. Transfer to the bowl with the eggplant and squash.
- Add the tomatoes, olives, parsley, oregano and balsamic syrup to the bowl and fold gently. Fold in the Asiago. Season the caponata with salt and pepper. Transfer to a clean bowl and serve with baguette slices.