Cooking On A Budget: Eggplant, Tomato and Basil

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Eggplant, Tomato and Basil


This dish is a play on Eggplant Caponata, cooking on a budget style. Instead of a run back out to the grocery store, I used what I had on hand to make this dish. It's not the true Eggplant Caponata but has some of the same elements of the dish.

With gardens being planted soon I think this is a great recipe to bookmark for late summer when you begin to yield your own eggplant, tomatoes and herbs.

It's a very inexpensive dish to make and can be used as a side vegetable dish, or you could serve it with a hearty pasta like penne, ziti or rigatoni and have a complete meal. Another way would be to serve it in a bowl with some rustic bread.
  • 1 large eggplant - cubed
  • 1 medium onion - large dice
  • 4 garlic cloves - chopped (or use 2 tbsp. chopped jar garlic)
  • 1 - 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp. fresh basil - rough chop
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. green olives - minced
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. In a large saute pan or deep skillet, over medium low heat add 2 tbsp. olive oil. Add in the onion and stir. Sprinkle in some salt and black pepper and cook until the onions become translucent. About 2 minutes.
  2. Next, add in the garlic and stir. Cook for 1 minute and add in the eggplant and balsamic vinegar. Mix well.
  3. Add the can of crushed tomatoes, the grape tomatoes and olives along with the fresh basil and red pepper flakes.
  4. Stir and cook, taste and adjust the seasonings as you go along. Cook until the eggplant is softened and the flavors all meld together. At least 30 minutes.
Plate it as a side dish, with pasta for a main meal or a rustic bread for another main dish.  At serving time sprinkle with some Parmesan cheese.
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