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Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Roasted Baby Eggplant with Caponata Sauce

Roasted Baby Eggplant

Look what I found at the market yesterday! These were so darn cute, about 4 inches in length – I just had to take some of these bright, shiny baby aubergines home with me. Eggplant season generally starts in June, but one of the perks of living in Florida is that we get produce a little earlier in season due to the warmer weather. The babies were practically begging to be roasted as an appetizer. I just so happened to have a jar of Sicilian Caponata, which is a relish of chopped eggplant, tomatoes, capers and olives, all magically blended into a sauce perfect for pastas, quick bruschetta, or even eating straight out of the jar (me, guilty).

Baby Eggplant

I simply sliced the baby eggplants in half lengthwise, put them on a roasting pan, drizzled olive oil and in the oven at 375 degrees. 10 minutes later, I checked on them. Perfect timing! I then brushed a little more olive oil on top and set the broiler on high for 2 minutes to get a little more carmelization on the top.

Serve a quick sprinkling of sea salt, a spoonful of Caponata, chopped parsley and freshly grated Pecorino Romano.

The eggplant is dreamy, delicate and sweet. One bite and the velvety flesh just melts into your mouth. Since they haven’t matured, they do not have any of the bitterness that the adult variety contains. No need to salt to extract the bitter compounds. These babies were just the perfect size for a finger food. Their indigo skins looked so perfect on a white platter!

Can you imagine serving these cute things wearing the perfect hostess apron?! (HUSBAND click on this link)

Baby Eggplant

You don’t have Caponata? Try these toppings: -Pesto sauce with chopped parsley, roasted pinenuts and shaved parmesan -Chunky marinara sauce with chopped basil -Slices of roasted bell peppers and good olives -Diced tomatoes with a garlicy Tzaziki sauce. Top with chopped, fresh dill -Crispy fried basil leaves (deep fry the leaves) -Whipped mashed potato mixed with curry powder Do you have any other topping suggestions?



21 Responses to “Roasted Baby Eggplant with Caponata Sauce”

  1. kitchenmonkey — 4/25/07 @ 4:31 pm

    oh man, those look good! eggplant is definitely among the underrated veges – the contrast of textures after roasting makes them interesting, and with that topping… remind me never to look at your website before lunch!

  2. SteamyKitchen — 4/25/07 @ 4:48 pm

    Thank you Kitchenmonkey! Eggplant…the mis-tweated and mis-understood vegetable….

  3. Anh — 4/26/07 @ 3:28 am

    Oh, your eggplant dish is perfect! I love your photo, too.

    Thanks for visitng my blog. As for the springroll wrappers (Vietnamese rice papper roll), I actually forgot which one I used. The round one I think. Normally I use the wrappers that my mom sent me from Vietnam, which is much better than those sold in Australia. HTH :)

  4. Ady — 4/27/07 @ 9:38 am

    Hi, what do you think about chopped tomato, basil and mozzarella?
    With a pinch of origano, pizza style. bye bye

  5. SteamyKitchen — 4/27/07 @ 9:52 am

    Ady- that sounds so gooooood….fresh mozzerella on anything is good. I’m going to try that this weekend.

  6. Your blog rocks. — 4/27/07 @ 12:04 pm

    Dude, I love your blog. Gonna add it to my RSS Reader. I made your baby artichokes last weekend and they were delicious. Roasted eggplant is one of my girlfriend’s fav foods, so i’ll definitely be trying this soon.

  7. cindy — 4/28/07 @ 1:32 pm

    oh my, this looks really good…i love eggplant, especially those little ones!

  8. SteamyKitchen — 4/28/07 @ 2:04 pm

    Cindy-they are so much sweeter than the big eggplants

  9. MeltingWok — 4/29/07 @ 3:26 pm

    oo..put on tt cute lil’ apron and make some of these cutesies, cute ! :) I’d love this w/some mini bruschettas yummoss ! :)

  10. SteamyKitchen — 4/29/07 @ 3:58 pm

    MW- apron makes cooking more fun!

  11. Brilynn — 4/29/07 @ 9:10 pm

    Those look beautiful!
    I don’t seem to have much success cooking eggplant, but I think I could handle this!

  12. SteamyKitchen — 4/30/07 @ 12:29 am

    Brilynn, they were really easy – just cut them in half and throw in oven!

  13. WokkingMum — 7/7/07 @ 2:42 am

    Jaden,
    Yours looks so pretty. Maybe I should try eggplants again.

    I recently did Grilled Eggplants using Miso Paste.
    Have a look when you are free. ;)

    http://wokkingmum.blogspot.com/2007/06/grilled-eggplants-with-miso.html

  14. mrshbt — 7/7/07 @ 2:17 pm

    Dear Jaden,

    I sliced my eggplant (long ones at the local Asian market) at a 45 degree angle. Fry my aromatics (dried shrimp or shrimp paste, chili, garlic, shallots and tamarind paste). Put in my sliced eggplant, add some high stock, and cook with a lid until eggplant is soft.

    p/s After reading your blog, many of the articles that I wrote have remained as drafts. One such article is my “Sambal Heh Bee Eggplant”. :)

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  16. Annette Geiss — 6/22/10 @ 4:01 pm

    This recipe reminds me of my mother’s. Delicious! She scooped out the pulp and sauteed it with salt, pepper, olive oil, garlic and fresh parsley and then put it back into the shell and topped it with homemade marinara sauce and then baked it! Ummnn….will try your recipe too! Looks great!!

  17. Janelle — 6/24/10 @ 6:52 am

    I came for this recipe – but ended up reading the Butt-bowl story. I have the same bowl and will never look at it the same way. Love this recipe though!

  18. Bren — 4/29/11 @ 2:28 pm

    Just saw a Veggie book where they were cooking Baby Eggplants with other baby veggies, like Zucchini, Carrots, Pearl Onions, ect with Marjoram, garlic and olive oil. Never knew about baby eggplants until I read that, so looked them up and found your blog. Sounds like a tasty Recipe. What is your Caponata Recipe if you make it homemade? Will pick my Black Zucchini plants early this year… and give the recipes above a try, (will any type of Eggplant work?). How about Spaghetti Sauce with Mozzarella sprinkled with extra garlic on top? Think I will try that as well as some of the other suggestions offered here.

  19. Susanmarie P Lobach — 9/21/11 @ 7:59 pm

    http://www.cooks.com/rec/doc/0,1950,154179-248195,00.html
    is for eggplant caponata, this is the best ever,
    I’ll use this as a dip for partys and holidays, it’s just perfect
    and it can be frozen,

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