Caponata and Kugel

Caponata is a great and delicious and somewhat special way to use great late summer produce. It’s basically a stewed caramelized vegetable dish, traditionally made with eggplant, that is great served cold, room temperature, or warm. Try using a variety of different vegetables, whatever you’ve got on hand.

Kugel is a pudding made with either noodles or potatoes and baked.  Potato kugel is always savory, usually flavored with onions, sometimes incorporating other vegetables.  This one makes use of the delicious apples that are coming into season now.

Summer Vegetable Caponata

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 lbs vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, peppers, yellow squash, green beans)
  • 1 medium or 2 small onions
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large can small diced tomatoes in juice or 2 lbs fresh tomatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2-3 Tbs capers
  • black pepper
  • salt

Prepare the vegetables as follows:  eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash wash, trim, and cut into small bite-sized pieces.  Peel the onion and cut into small dice.  Peel the garlic and cut into thin slices.  Put the oil, sugar, and balsamic vinegar into a heavy-bottomed pot and heat over medium high until bubbly.  Add the eggplant and onion and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and burning.  Add the rest of the vegetables (including tomatoes and garlic.)  Add capers.  Stir well, turn heat down to low and cover the pot.  If the mix seems very dry add half a cup of water – you want to allow this dish to stew for hours without drying out.  Cook over low heat for at least 2 hours, checking water content and stirring every 10 minutes or so.  When the dish is fully cooked, all the vegetables should be very soft and falling apart and it should be thick, not soupy, remove from heat.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot, cool and serve cold, eat as a salad, a side dish, an omelet filling, tossed with pasta, topping a frittata, as a dip for chips or bread, as a crostini topping, a sandwich filling, or just a dip-the-spoon in snack.

Curried Apple and Potato Kugel

  • 3 lbs potatoes (either red or yellow)
  • 2 lbs apples (something with nice flavor and crisp texture – like honeycrisp or granny smith)
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 2 Tbs curry powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup neutral oil (safflower or sunflower)

Preheat oven to 375.  Wash the potatoes and apples well and peel the onions.  Grate them all, starting with onions and rotating (this will keep the potatoes from oxidizing and turning brown.)  Mix the shredded vegetables and fruit together with the flour, eggs, curry, and salt.  Put the oil in a baking dish (Pyrex works great for this) and put in the hot oven for 5 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and put the kugel mix in the hot oil in the pan.  Spread evenly then bake for 45 minutes to an hour until the edges and top are nicely browned.  Cut into pieces and serve hot.  Great plain or topped with plain yogurt.

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