Life is funny. There you are, making your Giambotta, marveling at its resemblance to its first cousin Ratatouille, when along comes Caponata.
It seems that the Sicilian version of Caponata introduces something in a brine, like olives or capers. Some are arguing that if it isn’t Sicilian, it isn’t Caponata. I’m reserving judgment until I get to try it Sicilian style.
For a version without the brined punch, I found this recipe for Greek Caponata from Giada De Laurentis (go figure) which is a baked version of the Giambotta I made (and similar to the Ratatouille from the movie (sans the decorative arrangement of the ingredients).
I served it over polenta, using Anne Burrell’s recipe, where you let it set, then pan-sear it. I didn’t use any of the herbs that Anne did because hers was meant to accompany braised lamb shanks. I added butter to the polenta mixture instead of mascarpone (about 2 T) and seared them in butter too. Mmmm.
- garlic, summer squash, zucchini, tomatoes, and eggplant from Sport Hill Farm
- red onion from Newtown Cedar Hill Farm
- tomato puree from Don Taylor Farms, Danbury, CT (from the freezer)
- oregano, dried, from my garden
- extra-virgin olive oil from Italy
- corn meal from Wild Hive Farm and Micro Mill
- milk from Stone Wall Dairy, Cornwall Bridge, CT
- butter from Ronnybrook Farm Dairy
Despite baking for about an hour, the individual flavors of the eggplant, zucchini, and summer squash came through. While this dish goes perfectly with some crusty Italian bread, the polenta was a pleasant accompaniment, moving the whole meal into the comfort food category.
Since I was serving this over polenta, I left out the potatoes. I don’t think that took much away from the overall flavor profile. Next time, I’ll use thyme instead of oregano. Will it still be Greek?
Update: Almost forgot the beverage! Here’s my CukeTini:
- 1/2 cup of cucumber juice (about 1/2 cucumber) either through the juicer, or use the food processor and pass through a strainer
- 1 T lime juice
- 1/2 tsp dried mint leaves (or 1 T if using fresh)
- 1 jigger of gin
Very refreshing. I’m thinking about adding garlic and dill and calling it the TzatzikiTini. H/T to Two Farm Shares for this fabulous idea.