We suggest you make this a day or two ahead for flavours to marinate and then top with arugula just before serving.
1 large eggplant, unpeeled, about 1 1/2 lbs (750 g)
1/4 cup (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 sweet onion, finely diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 large garlic cloves, minced
Half of 28 oz (796 mL) can seasoned diced tomatoes, drained
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/3 cup (80 mL) seedless golden raisins
3 Tbsp (45 mL) red wine vinegar
2 Tbsp (30 mL) capers, rinsed and drained
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (60 mL) finely chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup (80 mL) pine nuts, toasted
Crusty whole wheat baguette
Coarse Parmesan shavings
1 cup (250 mL) fresh arugula leaves
Cut unpeeled eggplant into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) cubes. To release some of the bitter juices, toss with salt and place in sieve. Top with plate just small enough to fit snugly inside sieve. Place weight on top, such as a 28 oz (796 mL) can of tomatoes. Set in sink to drain for 30 minutes.
Remove plate. Rinse eggplant with cold running water and pat cubes dry with paper towel.
In large, heavy saucepan heat oil. Add eggplant, onion, celery, and garlic. Sauté until eggplant is soft and golden, about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes, diced pepper, raisins, vinegar, and capers. Cover and simmer for a couple of minutes to blend flavours. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Caponata can be made up to this point, covered, and refrigerated overnight if you wish.
Just before serving, stir in basil and pine nuts. Set aside. Cut baguette into 1/2 in (1.25 cm) slices. Lightly toast in oven preheated to 350 F (175 C). Serve caponata spooned onto toasted bread. Top with coarse shavings of Parmesan and top with a little fresh arugula. Serve on platter.
Each serving contains: 213 calories; 2 g protein; 9 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 28 g carbohydrates (10 g sugars, 6 g fibre); 272 mg sodium
Gluten free: Our suggestion to serve on a crusty whole baguette can easily be substituted with gluten-free bread crisps should there be a request. And if bread is declined altogether, caponata can be scooped onto an endive leaf or zucchini round.
Dairy free: For the dairy-free option, leave out the Parmesan.
To save time: Toasts can also be made ahead and stored in airtight container until ready to serve.
source: "Festive Brunch fo Savour", alive #362, December 2012
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