Colors of the Rainbow ~ and my kitchen

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The “canned food” section of my kitchen!  I have cans of Hatch Green Chile, Coconut Milk, Water Chestnuts and Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes in my pantry, but that is it.  For most meals, our plates look like a color bomb exploded!  Fresh this, fresh that ~ You can’t help feeling healthy with every bite!  And food is SO flavorful!  Growing up with both parents working, I admit having eaten green beans out of a can.  Who knew they had a ‘snap’ when you bit into them?  Not me! And beets?  I didn’t know a beet unless it came sweet, sliced and pickled in a jar!  Oh but sliced into wedges and roasted with a little olive oil, honey, salt & pepper?  HEAVEN in my mouth!  Parsnips?  Don’t even get me started about parsnips ~ let’s just say, as I set a plate of roasted root vegetables in front of my family one day (less than a year ago), my Mom said, “Are those white carrots?”  She loved them, by the way!

My brother, Dr. Rob (Mountain View Chiropractic & Wellness Center, Parker, Co), recently shared the following:

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I understand not everyone has access to fresh food, and it can get costly if you don’t have a local co-op Trader Joe’s or Farmer’s Market in your town, but think of the cost saving benefits to your health down the road, if you start adding some ‘snap‘ into your food palette now.

Here’s to your health & happiness!

Caponata Siciliana

Note:  this dish really does get better with time ~ think of it as “the Sicilian Kimchi”!

  • 4 eggplant, cubed
  • 2 sticks celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2-1 cup olive oil (I know this seems like a lot, but you actually sauté in batches, wipe the pan clean, add more oil)
  • 4 sweet peppers, seeded and sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 anchovy, optional
  • 3 T tomato paste, or fresh tomato sauce
  • 2 T capers
  • 4 oz green olives (not American), pitted
  • 1/2 cup + 2 T white wine vinegar
  •  4 T sugar
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • toasted almonds, fresh basil to serve, optional

Salt the eggplant generously and let drain in a colander for 1 hour to extract bitterness. Rinse and pat dry.

In a large skillet, heat enough olive oil (I use about 2 T here) to sauté the celery; you want to maintain a crispiness to the celery, so do not overcook; drain on paper towel.

Top up the oil and fry up the peppers until they maintain their crunch.

Add more olive oil and fry the eggplant over high heat until they are cooked but still maintain their shape; remove from pan, drain on paper towels.

In the remaining olive oil, saute the onion over medium heat, just until it starts to become translucent. Reduce the heat and add anchovy if using; cook until the anchovy breaks down; stir in tomato paste.  Add your cooked, drained vegetables back into the skillet, taking care to stir them gently to coat with tomato paste.  Add in the capers, olives, vinegar, sugar, salt & pepper.  Cook,  stirring over high heat for 3 minutes.  Serve hot or cold with fresh basil sprinkled over top with toasted almond if you like.  The caponata will keep in the fridge, cover in a sealed container for up to a month! It never lasts more than 5 days in our house ~ enjoy your Sicilian rainbow! v

Shameless plugs for:  Mountain View Chiropractic & Wellness Center in Parker, Colorado, Trader Joe’s and your local Farmer’s Market!

Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food 

Hippocrates

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Christine Dabramo says:

    I remember your mother in law making this wonderful dish!
    I have not made it in years. I will make some for Easter….love it!
    Love to all!

    C

    Like

    1. C

      Funny enough, I never had Ma’s caponata… Tony says this one tastes just like hers or better – HUGE compliment, as she made some phenomenal food!

      Love + blessings – v

      Like

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