Friday, May 13, 2011

Anna Sultana's Kapunata, Maltese Style Caponata, Eggplant Appetizer


Okay, I know how it is.
Eggplants are like potato chips.
It's hard to stop at just one.

Maybe I am overstating it, just a teenie bit.

But really, eggplants are a staple in the Mediterranean.

If you flip through an Arabic cookbook, you'll see a recipe for 'The Imam Fainted'.
It uses eggplants.
No, the Imam didn't faint because it smelled funny.
Legend has it that the Imam's new bride had been given dozens of huge jugs of extra virgin olive oil as part of her dowry.
No cracks about the extra virgin.

After dinner, the Imam noticed the jugs were empty.
The oil was all gone.
It had been used in preparing that dinner.
Knock it off with the extra virgin jokes. 

Maybe the legend is overstating it, just a teenie bit.

But sucking up oil is a slight fault of eggplants.
Nothing's perfect.
When folks loved the pre-Dancing With the Stars Kirstie Alley look, no problem.
Now most people brush a bit of extra virgin olive oil (extra virgin has a stronger olive taste) on each side of an eggplant slice and broil the slices instead of frying them.

Oh, what we do to stay slim and trim.
Quit the cracks about the extra virgin.  Now.

We Maltese eat lots of eggplants, too.
Kapunata is similar to the Italian recipe Caponata.
So here's a recipe for our Kapunata.

                        
                        Kapunata

Peel and chop 
2 large eggplants                                
4 large tomatoes  
6 green peppers                                
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic                                     

In a dutch oven, heat 
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Fry the vegetables together.  

Add 
1 Tablespoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt                                 

Cover and simmer until the vegetable are tender.  

Add 
3 tablespoons capers
1/4 Cup pitted olives
Stir well.  
Serve hot or cold.
It's nice with crusty bread as an appetizer.

This keeps well in the fridge.
Handy for the hot summer days that are coming.

Yes, they are coming.

2 comments:

  1. I'll be making your recipe with my grandson this weekend i'll let you know how its turns out . have to keep the Maltese going before it is forgotten.

    I am so excited. I am going to Malta in July. I am taking my husband who has never been and my 19 yr old son who went when he was 3. it will be a whole new experience for him. I haven't been in 17 yrs. I am doing the count down now haha This time next month I will be in Malta :)

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  2. Hi, Karen! Enjoy cooking with your grandson :)

    Wishing you a wonderful time in Malta creating many happy memories with your family.

    Sahha!

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