Himself’s career change has been great; however, he works a lot. And me? Not so much anymore. As Himself proclaimed today after we left the pizza joint for lunch: “You are living the dream baby! Living the dream.” This was a comment on my plans for the remainder of my day—clean the apartment, take a nap, etc., etc.—my new routine. So, I am trying to find activities to keep me busy.
Every Saturday in the City of Troy venders set up for Troy Farmers’ Market. There is everything you can imagine from organic milk and cheese to bread bakers, fresh produce and herbs, a fish monger, organic beef, bison, lamb, flowers, local wineries, plants, soaps and candles. I can see all of this from my 3rd story apartment window that looks down on Monument Square. The market is year round and the summer market moves in to the atrium building for winter market starting in late October. Go to www.TroyMarket.org for more info and a list of vendors.
This past Saturday I picked up fresh eggplant, zucchini, shallots, kale, thyme, fresh vine ripe tomatoes and of course a bottle of Pinot Noir. I had zucchini bread in mind, but needed to do something with the eggplant and I had everything for Caponata except the raisins. After reading several recipes—all similar, but different—I decided anything goes for Caponata so here is my version made with what I had on hand. I substituted dried cranberries for raisins – sweet, tart, delicious!
¼ to ½ c Olive Oil - more if needed
1 lg Eggplant – large diced - peal leaving stripes
1 lg Zucchini – large diced
2 m Onions – large diced
2 Stalks of Celery - chopped
3 Garlic Cloves – chopped
15 oz can of San Marzano whole tomatoes and juice
½ can Tomato Paste
½ jar of Capers - drained
¼ - ½ c Jalapeño Stuffed Green Olives - sliced
¼ - ½ c Red Wine Vinegar to taste
¼ c Sugar to taste
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
2/3 c Dried Cranberries
Lemon juice to taste
½ c Flat Leaf Parsley - chopped
Water if needed
Good fresh bread for serving
In a large Dutch oven, heat olive oil and sauté eggplant, zucchini, onion, celery until vegetables start to soften and get some color. Add more oil if necessary. Add in garlic, tomato paste and sauté for 5 more minutes. Add in tomatoes with juice, breaking up the tomatoes, then stir in capers, olives, vinegar, cranberries, red pepper flakes, sugar, salt and pepper. Add water if necessary and then cook down till liquid is reduced for about 30 minutes. Add in parsley and juice of 1 lemon. Adjust seasoning to taste.
Serve hot, room temp or cold. It is your choice. This recipe makes a huge batch. I did freeze about 2 pints so I’ll see how that turns out.