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By Martha Rose Shulman
Caponata is a sweet-and-sour Sicilian version of ratatouille. Because eggplant readily absorbs
other flavors, it's particularly good in such a pungent dish. Caponata should be served at room
temperature, but it's good cold and tastes even better if left overnight. Caponata makes a great
topping for bruschetta.
1 1/2 pounds eggplant (1 large), roasted
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, from the tender inner stalks, diced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
2 red bell peppers, diced
Salt to taste
1 pound ripe tomatoes, preferably Romas, peeled, seeded and finely chopped, or 1 14-ounce can
crushed tomatoes (in puree)
3 heaped tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped pitted green olives
2 tablespoons sugar, plus a pinch
3 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar, or sherry vinegar (more to taste)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Roast the eggplant, then allow to cool. Chop coarsely.
Heat one tablespoon of the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy nonstick skillet, then add the onion and celery. Stir until the onion softens, about five minutes, and add the garlic. Cook together for a minute, until the garlic begins to smell fragrant, and add the peppers and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Stir until just tender, about eight minutes. Add another tablespoon of oil and the eggplant, and stir together for another five minutes, until the vegetables are tender. The eggplant will fall apart, which is fine. Season to taste.
Add the tomatoes to the pan with about 1/2 teaspoon salt and a pinch of sugar. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan often, for five to 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down somewhat and smell fragrant. Add the capers, olives, remaining sugar and vinegar. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, for 20 to 30 minutes, until the vegetables are thoroughly tender and the mixture is quite thick, sweet and fragrant. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat. Allow to cool to room temperature. If possible, cover and chill overnight. Serve at room temperature.
Recipe from the NYTimes
Salad of the week: Creamy Garlic Salad Dressing
Serve this creamy salad dressing over a salad of farm-fresh lettuce, chopped peppers, thinly sliced sweet onions and fresh tomatoes.
Makes about 1 cup
1 teaspoon salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons white vinegar
3 tablespoons oil
Combine salt and garlic in small bowl, pressing with the back of a spoon to form a paste. Whisk in remaining ingredients. Cover and chill 1 hour.
Recipe from Southern Living
Homemade Pizza Sauce
This recipe for garden-fresh pizza sauce makes a batch large enough to top several pizzas. You can make it right now with fresh tomatoes, but if you have a bumper crop or just want to buy a lot of in-season tomatoes and put them up for another day, canning is not your only option: try freezing them. Just remove the cores and freeze them whole. Then, turn your frozen tomatoes into pizza sauce any time of the year.
About 5 cups
5 pounds cored whole tomatoes, fresh or frozen
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon dried basil or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar (optional)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
If using fresh tomatoes, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Make a small X in the bottom of each tomato and plunge into the boiling water until the skins are slightly loosened, 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water for 1 minute. Peel with a paring knife, starting at the X. If using frozen tomatoes, run each under warm water and peel or rub the skin off. Thaw in the refrigerator or defrost in the microwave until mostly thawed. Chop the tomatoes, reserving any juice.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes (and any juice), basil, thyme, oregano, salt, pepper and sugar (if using). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook until thickened to the consistency of pizza sauce, about 2 hours. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper and/or sugar.
Transfer the sauce to a blender, add tomato paste and blend until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.)
Recipe from EatingWell.com
Roasted Beet and Winter Squash Salad with Walnuts
By Martha Rose Shulman
The colors of the vegetables were the inspiration behind this beautiful salad. You may be fooled into thinking the orange vegetables next to the dark beets are sliced golden beets, but they are slices of roasted kabocha squash.
2 pounds kabocha or butternut squash
1 bunch beets, with greens
2 tablespoons red wine or sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 small garlic clove, minced or put through a press
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons walnut oil
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts (about 1 1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons mixed chopped fresh herbs, like parsley, mint, tarragon, chives
Roast the beets. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the greens off of the beets, leaving about 1/2 inch of the stems attached. Scrub the beets and place in a baking dish or ovenproof casserole. Add about 1/4 inch water to the dish. Cover tightly with a lid or foil, and bake 35 to 40 minutes, until the beets are tender. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. If not using right away, refrigerate in a covered bowl.
Line another roasting pan with foil or parchment and brush with olive oil. Peel the squash and cut in 1/2-inch thick slices. Toss with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and salt to taste and place on the baking sheet. Roast for 20 to 30 minutes, turning halfway through, until lightly browned and tender. You can do this at the same time that you roast the beets, but watch carefully if you need to put the baking sheet on a lower shelf. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil while you stem and wash the greens. Add salt to the water, and blanch the greens for 1 minute or until tender. Transfer the greens to a bowl of cold
water, then drain and squeeze out the water. Chop coarsely.
Mix together the vinegars, garlic, salt, pepper, the remaining olive oil and the walnut oil. When
the beets are cool enough to handle, trim the ends off, slip off their skins, cut in half, then slice into
half-moon shapes. Toss with half the salad dressing. In a separate bowl, toss the roasted squash
with the remaining dressing.
Place the greens on a platter, leaving a space in the middle. Arrange the beets and squash in
alternating rows in the middle of the platter. Sprinkle on the fresh herbs and the walnuts. If
desired, sprinkle on crumbled feta. Serve.
Advance preparation: Roasted beets and squash will keep for 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator. Cooked beet greens will keep for about 3 days, and can be reheated. The salad will hold in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, but it's prettiest when served right away.
Recipe from the NYTimes