Springtime means a bounty of new ingredients coming into season and one recipe I look forward to once spring arrives each year is my eggplant caponata. A hearty combination of eggplant, bell pepper and spinach with sweet, chewy raisins and tangy red wine vinegar piled atop a crusty baguette smeared with goat cheese. Each bite is full of flavor and oh so satisfying. I love packing eggplant caponata for a picnic by wrapping each sandwich in parchment paper and serving it alongside fresh fruit, some cut up veggies and of course, wine!
1. Dice the eggplant into 1-inch cubes. Add to the skillet with 1 tbsp of olive oil, a pinch of Celtic Salt and red pepper flakes. Dice the bell pepper, thinly slice the garlic cloves and the shallot and add those in with the eggplant. Cook for about 5-6 minutes until the eggplant and bell pepper begins to soften. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Open the can of tomatoes and add them to the skillet with 1 1/2 tbsp raisins and simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Pop the baguette into the oven and warm through about 5-10 minutes.
3. Once the eggplant-tomato mixture has been simmering for 15 minutes, stir in 1 1/2 tbsp of red wine vinegar, 1 tsp sugar (optional), 1 tbsp capers and thinly-sliced spinach. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.
4. Divide the baguette in two. Split open (I like to pull out some of the bread filling so I have more room for caponata) and smear with goat cheese. Fill with the caponata and serve!
Prep Ahead: The caponata mixture can be done in advance and reheated.
Estimated Time: 30 minutes
Leftovers: Save any extra filling and serve over rice for lunch! You can even add a fried egg!
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