Caponata is a dish my mother-in-law made during our last visit to France, where she lives. If you haven't tried it before, caponata is a cooked vegetable salad with eggplant. Honestly, I don't remember all of the ingredients but I recall eggplant, olives and peppers. Most importantly, I remember how much we all loved it!
For a weekend get together at my house, I was planning the menu and suddenly thought of her caponata. Instead of making a salad, I made my own version of caponata on a stick for an appetizer. This was easy to put on the grill for a few minutes before we started grilling the main course.
While preparing the eggplant for this appetizer, I sliced it and sprinkled salt on both sides of each slice. After a few minutes the eggplant begins to sweat. This removes the bitterness, making the eggplant much more pleasant to eat. If you're going to be making any dish with eggplant, this is a must try!
My other half makes an eggplant gratin with tomatoes that is on my list of favorite comfort foods. Also on that list is his mom's caponata and eggplant caviar, which is a dip or spread that is delicious on grilled crostini. These skewers are going on our favorites list. The kids tried these and agreed that these remind us all of Mamy's caponata.
My mother-in-law is a vegetarian and there was a time in my life when I thought vegetables were not anything I'd eat by choice. Fortunately I've changed my mind since then and I absolutely love vegetarian dishes, especially when they're made by someone very special to me. I wonder what she'd think of my version of caponata?
I can't wait for you to give these a try! The number of skewers will depend on the size of the eggplant. I make a few without each of the ingredients. For example, a few without onions and an extra tomato and a few without eggplant and an extra piece of onion. This gives options for guests with different preferences.
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