Cranberry Pepper Jelly

Sweet and spicy, festive and fruity, this cranberry pepper jelly makes for a perfect holiday appetizer. Today I’m sharing a holiday twist on my favorite pepper jelly recipe, adding fresh cranberries for a unique flavor and gorgeous ruby red color. Despite the mix of peppers and cranberries, it’s still a pepper jelly first and foremost, […]

Sweet and spicy, festive and fruity, this cranberry pepper jelly makes for a perfect holiday appetizer.

Today I’m sharing a holiday twist on my favorite pepper jelly recipe, adding fresh cranberries for a unique flavor and gorgeous ruby red color. Despite the mix of peppers and cranberries, it’s still a pepper jelly first and foremost, rather than a spicy cranberry sauce (let’s just clear that up from the getgo).

Three glass jars of Cranberry Pepper Jelly on a light pink background, with fresh cranberries and mixed red peppers scattered around.

Look, I know I just posted a pepper jelly recipe all of 2 minutes ago (actually, it was 2 months ago, but we all know that in this alternate universe we’re living in time has no meaning anymore so…)

The thing is, the peppers just keep on coming. It’s mid-November and we’re still getting piles of both hot and sweet peppers with our bi-weekly CSA deliveries from Caney Fork Farm. Circumstances have made me extra-conscious about food waste, and that, paired with the fact that I just really don’t like peppers very much (so sue me), have led to batch after batch of pepper jelly (which at least has the benefit of being shelf-stable and more easily giftable than the fresh peppers themselves). I’ve made so much I’m actually running out of jars (oh, the horror!)

Three glass jars of Cranberry Pepper Jelly on a light pink background, one har with two spoons.

This holiday-variation pairs tart cranberries with sweet and spicy red peppers and just a hint of orange zest. I used mainly sweet red peppers, with two red Cayenne peppers thrown in for just a hint of heat (but you can easily customize this recipe to be as spicy as you’d like, as long as the final prepared quantity of peppers is the same, it doesn’t matter what proportion of that is hot versus sweet).

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Butternut Squash Enchiladas

Butternut Squash Enchiladas are filled with butternut squash, perfectly spiced black beans, cheese, and enchilada sauce. The perfect vegetarian meal for fall and they freeze well too! One of my favorite veggies to make during the fall is butternut squa…

Butternut Squash Enchiladas are filled with butternut squash, perfectly spiced black beans, cheese, and enchilada sauce. The perfect vegetarian meal for fall and they freeze well too! One of my favorite veggies to make during the fall is butternut squash. It has the most delicious, slightly-sweet flavor that makes any dish feel instantly comforting! I…

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No Bean Chili

No Bean Chili-this chili recipe has no beans, but don’t worry, it’s super satisfying and full of flavor. It’s made with beef, sausage, tomatoes, and traditional chili spices. It’s perfect for game day, potlucks, or any meal. It …

No Bean Chili-this chili recipe has no beans, but don’t worry, it’s super satisfying and full of flavor. It’s made with beef, sausage, tomatoes, and traditional chili spices. It’s perfect for game day, potlucks, or any meal. It also freezes well! A chili with no beans? Is that even possible? Yep! This is a meat…

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Vegan Pizza

This article is from Delicious Everyday.
This Vegan Pizza is super tasty and topped with colorful veggies. But don’t let it intimidate you—it’s easier to make than you’d think! All it takes to make this rainbow vegetable pizza …

This article is from Delicious Everyday.

This Vegan Pizza is super tasty and topped with colorful veggies. But don’t let it intimidate you—it’s easier to make than you’d think! All it takes to make this rainbow vegetable pizza is the dough, sauce, vegetables, and some vegan cheese! Topped with colorful red onion, corn, zucchini, and red pepper, this pizza both looks...

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Pineapple Salsa

This fresh and simple Pineapple Salsa goes great with fish, chicken, tacos, or tortilla chips! It is easy to make and a summertime favorite! Pineapple + Salsa = Amazing You can’t beat a fresh, juicy pineapple. Well, maybe if you were eating that …

This fresh and simple Pineapple Salsa goes great with fish, chicken, tacos, or tortilla chips! It is easy to make and a summertime favorite! Pineapple + Salsa = Amazing You can’t beat a fresh, juicy pineapple. Well, maybe if you were eating that fresh, juicy pineapple in Hawaii. The pineapple in Hawaii is by far…

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Sesame Ginger Carrot Salad

This bright and colorful Sesame Ginger Carrot Salad is fresh, full of flavor, and a great side dish for any meal. It only takes 15 minutes to make! This Sesame Ginger Carrot Salad might be one of my favorite salads. My friend Catherine made it for a ge…

This bright and colorful Sesame Ginger Carrot Salad is fresh, full of flavor, and a great side dish for any meal. It only takes 15 minutes to make! This Sesame Ginger Carrot Salad might be one of my favorite salads. My friend Catherine made it for a get together awhile ago and I fell in…

The post Sesame Ginger Carrot Salad appeared first on Two Peas & Their Pod.

Shrimp Tacos

Shrimp Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa will make you feel like you’re on vacation somewhere exotic. These simple and flavorful tacos are a summertime Taco Tuesday favorite! It is officially summer and that means it’s time to bring on all of th…

Shrimp Tacos with Grilled Pineapple Salsa will make you feel like you’re on vacation somewhere exotic. These simple and flavorful tacos are a summertime Taco Tuesday favorite! It is officially summer and that means it’s time to bring on all of the grilling recipes! Who’s ready? I hope you are because you need to make…

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Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Easy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta-this simple pasta dish has a creamy red pepper sauce and is made with mostly pantry ingredients. It is the perfect weeknight meal! Roasted Red Pepper Pasta I love this super simple Roasted Red Pepper Pasta recipe! It doesn…

Easy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta-this simple pasta dish has a creamy red pepper sauce and is made with mostly pantry ingredients. It is the perfect weeknight meal! Roasted Red Pepper Pasta I love this super simple Roasted Red Pepper Pasta recipe! It doesn’t have a ton of ingredients, and most of them can be stored…

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1-Pan Potato (Aloo) Sabzi

It’s no secret that we have a thing for Indian cuisine — the textures and techniques and flavor combinations are incredible!
This sabzi — the term in Indian cooking used to describe cooked vegetables — came to be during the creation of our (upcoming) …

1-Pan Potato (Aloo) Sabzi

It’s no secret that we have a thing for Indian cuisine — the textures and techniques and flavor combinations are incredible!

This sabzi — the term in Indian cooking used to describe cooked vegetables — came to be during the creation of our (upcoming) dosa-inspired recipe. We needed a tasty filling and this was the perfect solution!

Most potato (aloo) sabzis require peeling and parboiling, but we keep things simple by dicing potatoes and cooking them right in the pan with the other ingredients.

1-Pan Potato (Aloo) Sabzi from Minimalist Baker →

Eggplant Caponata

Caponata is an Italian appetizer that’s bursting with flavor! Eggplant and Mediterranean vegetables make a tangy, garlicky spread that’s perfect over crusty bread. Here’s a new appetizer that we’re head over heels with: caponata! What’s caponata, you ask? This Sicilian specialty is an appetizer and a side dish, essentially a sweet and sour ratatouille with cooked eggplant, tomatoes and onion. It’s often spread on crusty bread as an appetizer or antipasti (as the Italians would say). It’s so full of tangy, garlicky flavor that once you’ve taken one bite, you’ll likely want to devour the entire serving dish. So hold onto your hats! Here’s how to make Italian caponata…and then how to serve it like the Italians do. What’s in caponata? Caponata is a classic Italian eggplant dish. And like any classic dish (like potato salad or coleslaw), there are endless variations on how to make it. Alex and I researched to make sure this version has all the classic elements: and we’ve customized a bit to our personal tastes! Here’s what’s in our version of caponata: Eggplant (and it doesn’t need to be drained! see below) Red pepper, red onion and celery Garlic Canned tomatoes Olive oil Balsamic vinegar […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Caponata is an Italian appetizer that’s bursting with flavor! Eggplant and Mediterranean vegetables make a tangy, garlicky spread that’s perfect over crusty bread.

Caponata

Here’s a new appetizer that we’re head over heels with: caponata! What’s caponata, you ask? This Sicilian specialty is an appetizer and a side dish, essentially a sweet and sour ratatouille with cooked eggplant, tomatoes and onion. It’s often spread on crusty bread as an appetizer or antipasti (as the Italians would say). It’s so full of tangy, garlicky flavor that once you’ve taken one bite, you’ll likely want to devour the entire serving dish. So hold onto your hats! Here’s how to make Italian caponata…and then how to serve it like the Italians do.

What’s in caponata?

Caponata is a classic Italian eggplant dish. And like any classic dish (like potato salad or coleslaw), there are endless variations on how to make it. Alex and I researched to make sure this version has all the classic elements: and we’ve customized a bit to our personal tastes! Here’s what’s in our version of caponata:

  • Eggplant (and it doesn’t need to be drained! see below)
  • Red pepper, red onion and celery
  • Garlic
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar and sugar to balance tangy and sweet
  • Capers to add briny, salty flavor
  • Fresh basil and pine nuts, to garnish
Caponata (Eggplant Dish)

Some other additions you’ll see in some versions: green olives to add even more briny flavor, and golden raisins to add more sweet. We nixed both in flavor of a straightforward, classic caponata: but you can certainly add them if you’d like! (I’d love to add the golden raisins, but Alex is less of a salty-sweet person than I am!)

No need to salt and drain the eggplant!

If you’ve cooked with eggplant before, you’ll know: many eggplant recipes call for letting it drain with salt on it for 1 hour to extract some of the bitterness from the eggplant. If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered: is this extra step really necessary?

We did some research, and guess what? It’s not really necessary in this day and age. Per Epicurious, salting eggplant used to be conventional practice with eggplants years ago because they were more bitter. Today’s eggplants are bred to be less bitter, so there’s no need to salt them. Look: we saved you an hour!

Eggplant caponata

Toasted pine nuts = icing on the cake!

Pine nuts are traditional for topping caponata. They’re an Italian nut that, believe it or not, does come from pine trees! Because it’s so time consuming to harvest and the trees grow only in certain regions, pine nuts can be pricey. But! They’re absolutely worth it for the nutty, uniquely Italian flavor they provide. If you can’t find them, you can omit entirely (or see these substitutes).

If you do use them, follow this advice: Toast the pine nuts before you use them! Toasting the nuts on the stove or in the oven brings out their flavor in a big way: almost like using salt to bring out the flavor in a recipe! They’re not nearly as good without toasting. You’ve been warned!

Eggplant caponata

Capers enhance the salty flavor

If you’ve never cooked with capers, now’s the time! What are they? Capers are a berry of the caper bush that’s native to the Mediterranean. They’re round and dark green gray, about the size of a peppercorn. You’ll find them in Italian and Mediterranean recipes. They bring a tangy, briny and salty flavor to any dish.

Capers are served pickled, so you’ll find them in jars near the olives at the grocery story. If you pick up a joar, also try them in our Salmon with Capers, Roasted Eggplant Pasta, and Paprika Goat Cheese Spread.

Ways to serve caponata: as an appetizer or side! (Or a meal.)

Once you’ve made up a batch of caponata, now’s the fun part. Eating it! There are lots of ways to eat caponata, but probably the most common is using it to top crusty bread. Since it’s Italian in heritage, it works well with Mediterranean-style meals. Here are a few ways that we’d serve it:

  • On crusty bread or baguette slices. If you’re the baking type, try our Homemade Baguette.
  • On crostini. You can also make crunchy Crostini, essentially crackers made out of baguette, which makes more of a showy presentation.
  • On a cheese board or appetizer spread. It’s nice for an antipasto spread because it’s a rare plant-based Italian appetizer option.
  • As a side to baked or grilled fish. It would make a great side to our Salmon with Capers.
  • As a side to pasta. Try alongside Cacio e Pepe, Easy Creamy Gnocchi, or Vegan Fettuccine Alfredo.
  • In grilled cheese. Throw some in the middle of a grilled cheese sandwich and you’ve got a heavenly treat.
  • As a meal. Alex and I have split a bottle of wine with baguette, caponata, and some cheese or seasoned white beans. Perfect appetizer dinner!
Eggplant caponata

This caponata recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

Print
Caponata

Eggplant Caponata


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 as an appetizer
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Caponata is an Italian appetizer bursting with flavor! Eggplant and Mediterranean vegetables make a tangy, garlicky spread that’s perfect over crusty bread. 


Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds eggplant (2 medium)
  • 1 celery rib
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 14-ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Basil, for garnish
  • Toasted pine nuts, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cut the eggplant into small cubes, about 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch. Dice the celery. Slice the red onion. Dice the red bell pepper. Mince the garlic.
  2. In a Dutch oven or large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add the eggplant, celery, red pepper and red onion and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook 3 to 5 minutes until the eggplant and onions are browned and softened.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, capers, and salt. Cover and simmer on low for 10 minutes, stirring once, until very tender. Taste and add another pinch or two of salt. Serve warm, garnished with chopped basil and toasted pine nuts. Or, chill for up to 1 day and serve cold or at room temperature (the flavors taste even better after refrigerating). 

  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Keywords: Caponata, Caponata Recipe

More with eggplant!

Eggplant is an underrated vegetable, in our opinion! Here are some more great recipes for eating it:

  • Perfect Roasted Eggplant Here’s how to make the BEST roasted eggplant! Baking until it’s tender makes for unreal flavor.
  • Roasted Eggplant Pasta This eggplant pasta is flavor-packed with roasted eggplant & zesty marinara sauce! An impressive plant based dinner, it works for weeknights or parties.
  • Eggplant Sandwich with Tomato & Pesto This Mediterranean tomato and grilled eggplant sandwich with basil pesto is seriously flavorful. It was inspired by a trip to Italy!

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes