Dorsoduro Caponata

We found a sidewalk cafe in Venice very near the crumbling

palazzo we were sharing with Jim and Jane. It was great fun

to watch the sun sink over the canal and the daily soccer

game in the square that always wound up with the ball taking

out a newspaper rack. Then, someone from the team had to

go inside the newsstand, hat in hand, and beg for the return

of the ball. Meanwhile we had sipped our spritz (see below)

and dived into this caponata…what better way to end the day.

1 large eggplant, peeled and diced

4 tablespoons of olive oil

4 green onions, sliced

2 celery sticks, sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped1 dozen black olives, halved1 half cup of pine nuts or walnuts, toasted

3 tablespoons of capers, rinsed and drained

1 teaspoon of anchovies, minced (optional)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons of oregano

1 teaspoon of basil

1 teaspoon of green peppercorns, crushed

Sea salt to taste

Sprinkle cubed eggplant with salt and toss in a colander for at

least thirty minutes. Rinse and drain thoroughly and pat dry with

a paper towel. Add olive oil to a cast iron skillet and saute celery

and onion until transparent. Add garlic and cook for a few more

minutes before adding eggplant. Saute for ten minutes and

remove pan from heat. Stir all other ingredients into the eggplant,

cover and let come to room temperature. Serve with thinly sliced,

toasted, Italian bread.

A Spritz is two parts Aperol and three parts

Prosecco, a dry, sparkling, white wine.  It is

usually served on the rocks with a splash of soda

and a thin slice of orange.


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