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  • Writer's pictureBree

Eggplant Pepperonata

peperonata f (plural peperonate)

an italian dish where the base ingredients are stewed peppers, onions and tomatoes to which other fresh vegetables may be added according to the region and the season of the year.

That sounds about right. This dish was inspired by Abra Berens' "Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables" which I absolutely love. Because this never ending summer (what is referred to as a Veranillo de San Miguel here in Spain) seems to be continuing on into October, I couldn't resist using one of my favourite pieces of summer produce: eggplant!


Ingredients


-1 medium white onion, sliced into long strips

-2 cloves of garlic, diced

-2 medium eggplants, cubed

-2 medium red bell peppers, sliced into long strips

-2 ripe vine tomates, diced

-a squirt of tomato paste

-a squirt of harissa (or red pepper flakes will do)

-a handful of fresh basil leaves (or a dash of dried basil)

-capers and baby artichoke hearts (optional but recommended)

-olive oil

-salt & pepper

Method


1. Heat olive oil over medium-low heat in a large, nonstick pan (honestly, I used a wok. I can stir vigorously and nothing flies out). Add onions and sweat for a few minutes, then add garlic. Season with salt.


2. Add the eggplant and let it soften for a few minutes, then add the peppers. If your vegetables are browning or burning too quickly, add a little bit more oil and/or lower heat. Season with pepper and more salt, if necessary.


3. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and something spicy to taste (I love harissa, though I know the flavor profile doesn't quite match the Italian fare. Red pepper flakes are a great option as well).


3. Cook this all down until your vegetables are silky and sweet (about 15 minutes?), then mix in your basil, capers, and artichokes. Cook for a few more minutes and enjoy! I recommend serving with crisp potatoes, a jammy egg, or smoked salmon (pictured).

Makes 2-4 servings, depending on if serving as a pure side or more of a main.

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