The summer is for being outdoors! So what better way to make a meal than on your grill to change things up and enjoy the summer sun. I actually just filmed a segment for "The Juice" on the Veria TV Network about Italian Backyard Bites and thought I'd share my own favorite grilled recipe with you. Here I am below by the way! Was a lot of fun shooting with the team!
I LOVE classic Caponata. The sweet and sour blend of this Italian classic is a killer appetizer, side dish or main entree. Everyone has their own spin on how to make a Caponata, but my biggest secret to a Caponata? Letting it sit overnight before serving! This allows all the flavors to meld together and intensify.
Grab all your vegetables and throw them on a grill! The primary base for Caponata recipes include eggplant, onions and tomato. For a Grilled version of this recipe, take the veggies, brush them with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and place them on the grill. It'll take the eggplant about 6 to 8 minutes per side. The onions will take about 4, and the tomatoes just a quick 2 or 3. You're going to get those gorgeous dark char marks and that nice grilled flavor.
Once done, take them off the grill and chop into half inch pieces. From here you can add your own spin to your caponata. But remember, sweet and salty! You can add olives, capers, raisins or currants and pine nuts for crunch. For the green finishing touch, basil, mint or parsley is always nice. A few shreds of ricotta salata or a slab of burrata on the side....I'm getting hungry!
For the dressing, use a base of vinegar and sugar to balance out the sweet and sour taste. A few tablespoons of red wine vinegar, a teaspoon or so of honey, a pinch of red pepper flakes and then whisking it all up with extra virgin olive oil is always a good way to go. Toss it all together and let it sit and marry.
So simple, so tasty, so SUMMER! I hope you guys all try to make your own version of Caponata and be sure to comment if you have any questions!