This time of year vegetables are piled high and looking beautiful at the farmers market – perfect to get cooking with for Vegetarian Awareness Week!
Going meatless once a week may help reduce your risk of health problems like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save on precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuels.
Local cookbook author and food writer Kim O’Donnel is known as a champion of the Meatless Mondays movement. Her books “The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook” and “The Meat Lover’s Meatless Celebrations” feature a ton of great recipes for vegetarians and carnivores alike!
One of my favorite hearty recipes teeming with veggies is Roasted Eggplant Caponata – so great to incorporate all those late summer veggies. Made with roasted eggplant, peppers and squash in a garlicky tomato sauce. Serve it with crusty French bread, cous cous or tossed in with whole wheat pasta. I love it scattered with torn basil and goat cheese if you’re so inclined!
So grab those fresh veggies and make your next meal meatless! – Kathy
Roasted Eggplant Caponata
This can be made up to three days ahead: reheat or bring to room temperature right before serving.
Makes 6 cups and serves 10 – 15.
1 medium eggplant (about 14 oz.), trimmed and sliced crosswise 1/2-inch thick
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons coarse (Kosher) salt
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium zucchini
5 medium white mushrooms, diced 1/4-inch
1/2 medium red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons dry red wine
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 jar (6 oz.) marinated artichoke hearts, chopped, liquid reserved
1 large tomato, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup tomato sauce
1/4 cup finely diced roasted red pepper
1 tablespoon drained capers
2 tablespoons minced Calamata olives or black olives
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Spread the eggplant slices on a baking sheet and drizzle or brush with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Season with 1 teaspoon of the salt. Bake for 25 minutes. Let cool slightly, then chop and set aside.
Meanwhile, slice the yellow squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the squash seed pulp and discard or reserve for another use. Cut the squash into 1/2-inch dice. Repeat with the zucchini. Set aside.
In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over moderately high heat until hot. Add the mushrooms, onions, diced yellow squash and zucchini. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to brown lightly, about 4 – 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for 1 minute.
Stir in the red wine, vinegar and artichoke liquid. Add the tomato, crushed red pepper, black pepper and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring until the tomato softens, about 3 – 4 minutes.
Stir in the artichoke hearts, tomato sauce, roasted red pepper, capers, olives, basil, parsley and the reserved eggplant. Reduce heat to moderately low and cook for 3 minutes or until thickened. Serve warm.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios®.