MY PANTRY is going to become a staple in my kitchen!

Suzanne Anderson

5 Stars

November 8, 2015

I picked up a copy of Alice Water's, MY PANTRY, on a whim.

And in fact, after it arrived, this unassuming little cookbook joined a stack of other new cookbooks for a month before I picked it up this weekend and actually cracked the spine and began to read it.

I was looking for a recipe that would allow me to use 3 beleagured eggplant that I'd rescued from the last-stop sale rack at my grocery store. 

I've never been a big fan of eggplant, but I love a bargain.

When I opened the pages of MY PANTRY, I didn't really expect to find an eggplant recipe that would inspire me. But I was happily wrong as I turned the page and discovered Roasted Eggplant Caponata.

Below, I've included my interpretation of Alice Water's recipe, because quite honestly I didn't have all the ingredients....and I live by the cooking philosophy that we should work with what we have.

As the eggplant roasted in the oven, I sat down and began reading Alice Waters' newest cookbook and was instantly enchanted.
This little book is a peek inside a pioneering chef's personal kitchen and what makes it a place that inspires her and welcomes her home from long journeys. 

I can't wait to try her recipes for making Tahini, Za'atar, yogurt, a variety of fresh cheeses, tomato, and duck leg confit. 

There are not a ton of recipes in this slim volume. Just the essential basics that I am convinced will make me a better cook.

So here's my riff on the Eggplant Caponata .... it was stunningly delicious!

Ingredients and directions:

3 medium eggplants
2/3 cup olive oil
sea salt
Cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch cubes toss them with the olive oil and salt. The roast them for 30 minutes at 400F, stirring them every 15 minutes.

While the eggplant roast:
saute 1 cup of diced celery and onion (I used a frozen Mirepoix mix) gently until soft

Add into the saute:
the roasted eggplant
1 14oz can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
1/2 14oz can chopped black olives 
good splash of red wine vinegar
Add nutmeg, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste.

Stir all together and cook at a medium low heat for 10 minutes.

Caponata can be served cold as an appetizer or heated with pasta.

It's delicious!

Alice Waters MY PANTRY is going to become a staple in my kitchen!