I was meandering through the grocery store on Friday morning thinking about how I feel stuck in a rut. My shopping trips are feeling like my COVID-restricted life. My enthusiasm for trying new things has been well below normal, and my food choices reflect that lack of enthusiasm.
Well, it’s time to change things up a bit!
In the produce aisle I spotted eggplants, sweet potatoes, and spaghetti squash. I like all of these but I’m the only one in the family who does. I thought, “heck, it’s time to treat myself this weekend. I’ll buy all of them and figure out what to do with these ingredients.”
The eggplant brought me back to my childhood. My mom fried it up to upscale traditional tomato-based pasta. On special occasions, the eggplant was made into a parmigiana or into a caponata.
So, a modernized caponata was my choice this weekend. I subbed the traditional sweetness of raisins with the sweet potatoes and simplified it with fewer ingredients. Here’s the recipe. Hope you try it and enjoy it.
Ingredients for Roasting:
1 medium eggplant
1 small sweet potato
5 tsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Ingredients for Dressing:
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar (dark or white)
salt & pepper to taste
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp maple syrup
- Slice eggplant and soak in salted water for about 30 minutes.
- Slice sweet potatoes into thick slices and set aside for roasting.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Drain water from eggplants and lay eggplant and sweet potato slices on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Drizzle 5 teaspoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste.
- On another cookie sheet, place sliced almonds.
- Roast eggplant and potato for 40 minutes. Turn once half way through baking.
- Roast sliced almonds for 3-5 minutes while other veggies are roasting. Pay close attention to the almonds. They will burn quickly.
- When cooled, cut eggplant and sweet potato into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl. Add roasted almonds.
- Prepare dressing by combining olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, maple syrup and a sprinkle a touch more of salt & pepper.
- Toss into bowl of eggplant and sweet potato. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Serve as a side dish. Have it as a snack with whole grain crackers.
- If you want to want to make it a meal, heat up the eggplant salad and serve it on steamed spaghetti squash that has been pan sautéed with a touch of olive oil, onions and mushrooms.
Serves 2 to 3 people