A dip for all seasons • Grilled Caponata

Taste5 Grilled Cap

Caponata is a Sicilian eggplant dish consisting of chopped grilled or fried eggplant, celery, capers and tomatoes in slightly sweet vinaigrette. It's delicious on its own, ladled over grilled swordfish or chicken, tossed with pasta or chunks of crusty bread. The #taste5twist using Taste5 Bomba! XXX and Taste5 Original Umami Bomba pastes adds even deeper flavor to this already outstanding Mediterranean classic.


Yield 8 servings


2 large eggplants (about 2 pounds total), ends trimmed and peeled,
   sliced into 3/4" thick rounds
kosher salt
3 large red bell peppers (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3/4 cup olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced into 3/4-inch-thick rounds
3/4 cup minced celery
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/4 cup capers, drained
1/2 cup fresh basil, sliced into thin strips
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup canned tomato puree or 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 tablespoons Taste5 Bomba! XXX tomato paste
1 teaspoon Taste5 Original Umami Bomb paste


Preheat a grill to medium-high or a grill pan over medium high heat.

Spread the eggplant slices on paper towels.
Sprinkle lightly with salt. Let rest for 15-20 minutes.

Brush the bell peppers with some of the olive oil or cooking spray.
Grill them, turning them periodically, until their skin is blistered and blackened, 10minutes.  Remove the peppers from the grill, place them paper bag or a bowl covered tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside.

Secure the red onion slices with a few toothpicks on each side to keep them together on the grill. Brush the onions with olive oil or spray lightly with cooking spray. Season with salt and pepper.  Grill them for about 5 minutes on each side, until nicely marked. Remove to a platter.

Dry the eggplant slices with paper towels, and brush each side generously with the remaining olive oil or with cooking spray.   Grill the eggplant for 4 minutes on each side, until nicely marked, and add it to the platter with the onions.

Combine celery, garlic, vinegar, sugar, crushed red pepper in a large bowl.
Cut eggplant and onion into 1/2" dice and add to the bowl.

Peel the grilled bell peppers, remove the seeds and cut them into 1/2" pieces and add to the bowl with the eggplant and onions.

Add the olives, capers, basil, extra-virgin olive oil, and Classic Red sauce, Taste#5 pastes and stir well to combine.  Season with kosher salt and black pepper to taste.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

NOTE: Caponata keeps, covered and chilled up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before serving.