When I originally started this blog one of the first recipes I posted was my version of the Eggplant Caponata dip. There is a deli called Sergio’s, located in Denville, New Jersey that is a family favorite. They make the best Caponata I have ever had! This recipe developed from my quest to come close to that same taste. I researched recipes online and of course everyone has their own version. I got to work experimenting with different recipes and methods. After some testing I found MY favorite version of this dip.
I was able to share it on CT Style as part of a pool bites segment. This is a great dip to make and let it sit in the fridge all week and pull out when friends come over. It only get’s better with time!
In a large saute pan (one with high sides if you can) add the olive oil over medium low heat.
Add the onion to the pan and sauce until translucent., about 5 minutes. Then add in the garlic and raisins. Stir to move around the pan.
Add the peeled and cubed eggplant to the pan and saute until it becomes soft, about 7 minutes.
Sprinkle the sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa powder over the eggplant and stir.
Then add the capers and tomato paste. Stir as the mixture saute's for another 2 minutes. Then add the balsamic vinegar and let the mixture simmer another 5 minutes. ( When you add the balsamic scrape the bottom of the pan to release and yummy bits!)
Then turn off the heat and let the mixture cool down for about 10 minutes.
In a food processor or blender add the roasted peppers and olives along with half of the eggplant mixture.
Pulse in the blender or processor until it is coarsely chopped. If you prefer less eggplant chunks you can put all of the eggplant mixture in the blender.
Pour the coarse chopped mixture back into the pan and heat through. Adding some salt and pepper to taste, and parsley.
You can serve immediately with pita chips or crostini. Or let it sit in the fridge and develop even more flavor!