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Monday, August 27, 2012

Minimalist Caponata

Produce of the day from vegetable patch:  2 small eggplants, 2 small red bell peppers, couple of green chilies, 25-30 cherry tomatoes, 1 fresh cucumber  
Choice of fresh herbs from the garden: Thyme, basil or rosemary  
Email exchange between friends: Caponata recipe  
Dinner for the evening: Fusilli with minimalistic caponata  

I usually grow some summer vegetables. This summer I planted my veggies very late so yield is not that great so far but not bad either. I water the plants after I come back from office and check produce of the day. I have been getting almost one cucumber everyday. Quick salad, cucumbers in water, sharing with some friends and this amazing cucumber cake is what I have tried so far. I also get few cherry tomatoes everyday. Sometimes we just snack on them, sometimes we collect few to make bruschetta. Eggplants and bell peppers are rare commodity so as soon as I have few I try to use it up in something special.We friends exchanged some notes about Caponata so it was very fresh on my mind. I decided to make it with whatever I had on my hand with whole wheat fusilli. It is really easy to make and dinner was ready in 30 minutes from start to finish. Here is how I made it -



2 small Eggplants - should yield 2 cups diced
2 small Red Bell pepper - should yield 1 cup diced
25-30 Cherry Tomatoes
1 small Onion
4-5 sprigs of Thyme
4 large Cloves of Garlic
3 tbsp Olive Oil
2 Green Chilies
2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (Good quality. 
Salt per taste

2 cups of Whole Wheat Fusilli
Water as needed to boil pasta

Fusilli with minimalist Caponata


Preparation -
Cook pasta according to direction on the package.
Cut onion, eggplants and red bell peppers in 1/2" dice. Discard seeds from bell pepper.
Chop chilies and garlic in small pieces.
Quarter all the cherry tomatoes, collect all the juice.
Heat oil in a pan. Add chopped garlic and green chilies.
Saute onion till translucent. Add bell pepper and eggplant and saute till cooked.
Add chopped tomatoes. Saute just couple of minutes.  Mix in balsamic vinegar.
Drain the pasta, add to cooking vegetables.
Add thyme leaves and salt to taste.
Mix well and enjoy!

Tips - 
  1. Save 1/2 cup of water before draining pasta. Add to cooked dish tablespoon at time if needed.
  2. Caponata recipe calls for pine nuts, but I did not have any so I did not use them. 
  3. Any bite size past will taste good in this.


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