Traditionally, Caponata is made with Eggplant. On our harvesting mission yesterday, at the community garden, I checked out the white eggplants growing in the plot and thought they probably need another week or two on the plant. But my heart was already on cooking Eggplant Caponata, which is a Sicilian eggplant dish that includes a sweet and sour element using vinegar and sugar.
I had bought yellow and green zucchinis at the farmers’ market yesterday so I thought they may make a good eggplant stand in. Changing up traditional recipes is really fun for me. Because I have been cooking gluten free for over 20 years, changing a recipe is something that doesn’t scare me, in fact, I like altering traditional recipes to give my own spin to them. Whether I am making them gluten free, vegan, or just more healthy overall, changing the recipes will give you freedom to be creative and develop flavours that you may never have considered.
So using my zucchinis, and some of my harvest from the community gardens, I put on my metaphorical lab coat and entered the Experimental Kitchen…I feel that there should be some ominous music playing now.
1 clove garlic minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 green zucchini, diced
1 yellow zucchini, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 cup lemon basil, chopped
1/4 raw almonds
7-10 cheery tomatoes or 2 medium size tomatoes, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cups chopped kale
In a large pan, heat up the olive oil, then put in the zucchini and carrots. Cook for approximately 10 minutes over medium heat. Set aside.
In a smaller pan, heat up olive oil and garlic, onions, tomatoes, basil and almonds. Pour in the vinegar and brown sugar and cook for 10 minutes. Add this mixture to the large pan of zucchini and carrots, then add the kale. Cook for another 5 minutes.
I served this on top of some brown rice and it was delicious. The freshness of the veggies really shines through. I absolutely love the taste of the cider vinegar and the hint of sweetness from the brown sugar. Served hot or cold, this recipe is one of my new seasonal favourites.