Caponata Quinoa Salad
From summer through fall, my Mom’s arrival at our home is accompanied by food, harvested fresh from her garden and put up in her freezer. It always includes rich caponata, a classic Italian blend of eggplants and peppers, tomatoes, basil and capers. This dish captures those flavors in a one-dish vegetarian homage to the end of summer.
- 1 1/2 cups red quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 3 tbs olive oil
- 3 small eggplants cut in 1/2” dice
- 2 medium sweet peppers, thinly sliced
- 3 tbs capers
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 tbs chopped Footprints Edibles Genovese basil
- 1/4 cup chopped Footprints Edibles Splendid flat parsley
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2/3 cups olive oil – the good stuff!
Rinse quinoa several times under running water. Place quinoa in a small saucepan with water and a pinch of salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat to low and cook until water is completely absorbed leaving steam vents in the surface of the quinoa, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 15 minutes longer. Cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, warm 2 tbs oil in 12” skillet over medium heat. Cook eggplant until lightly browned on all sides, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook until fork tender. Remove from pan.
Warm 1 tbs oil over medium heat and add peppers. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add capers and cook until fragrant, 1 minute longer.
In a large bowl combine reserved eggplant and peppers with tomato, onion, Footprints Edibles Genovese basil and Splendid flat parsley.
Sprinkle minced garlic with coarse salt and mash into a paste on your cutting board using the flat edge of your knife.
Whisk together garlic, vinegar and mustard.
Drizzle oil into vinegar, while whisking, to form a creamy emulsion.
Dress salad and serve over quinoa.
Eggplant can easily stick to the pan. Using the full two tablespoons of olive oil and browning the eggplant over medium heat prevents sticking while reducing the heat after browning prevents it from burning.