Colorful, Flavorful Eggplant “Caviar”

Eggplant-Caviar

Researchers at the US Department of Agriculture found eggplants to be chock-full of an antioxidant called chlorogenic acid, which fights free radicals (chemicals that cause oxidation, or the premature breakdown of our cells).  This recipe has a multitude of vegetables and lots of color.  A treat for taste buds and eyes!  Feeding a crowd?  You can double or triple the recipe easily, and it keeps for days in the frig.

Serves 4

1 medium eggplant (about 1½#)

½ C extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

1 chopped apple (cored, unpeeled)

4 cloves garlic, pressed

2 scrubbed, unpeeled, diced carrots ½ C minced red onion
1 diced green pepper 1 C frozen peas
1 diced red pepper 1 tsp good salt
2 diced small zucchini 1 tsp black pepper

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Pierce eggplant, put on pan and roast until tender, about 50 minutes.  Turn after 20 minutes and remove from oven when soft.  (Yes, you could grill eggplant, and, yes, that would take less time.)  Remove soft eggplant from oven, cut lengthwise, scoop out pulp and coarsely chop.  In a large pot, gently warm EVOO and sauté carrots five minutes.  Add peppers, then zucchini, and then apple, in that order, sautéing each for a minute or two before adding the next.  Stir in garlic, red onion, and chopped eggplant.  Cook another minute, turn off heat.  Add frozen peas, salt, pepper, and red wine vinegar.  Taste, adjust seasoning.  Serve with pita bread or crackers.  Alternatively, spoon into endive or radicchio leaves, or use to top potatoes, rice, quinoa, lentils, or alongside chicken or fish.  It makes a striking presentation next to houmous with a platter of heirloom tomatoes and olives.  This recipe has summer written all over it! 

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