The first eggplant came off the vine, today! It was smallish – it could have grown  few more days – but it’s mid-July. We’re ready to start partaking!

There are two eggplant plants out there. We’re going to be up to our eyeballs in eggplant, pretty soon but this is one recipe that just can’t be beat – and with just a couple of tweaks here and there, it can go from appetizer to entree in nothing flat.

The recipe is Little Gram’s. It’s her mom’s version of a caponata and it really is good. Today, Victor left out the mint and added a chopped hot Italian pepper. Little tweaks…

Little Gram lived for 105 years – and at 93, finally started writing down her recipes. The whole recipe collection is here on the website. They’re a lot of fun. One thing to remember is the recipes evolved over time and ingredients weren’t measured. Make them, play with them, and enjoy them.

Although this originally was an appetizer, tonight, it was a sauce for pasta.

Eggplant Appetizer


  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 3/4 cups halved or chopped green olives
  • 3 cups thinned Italian tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1/4 chopped Locatelli cheese
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • fresh basil and mint

Cut eggplant in strips the size of French fries. Salt and let stand about an a hour. Dry on a paper towel. Deep fry in hot oil. Keep oil as hot as possible without burning. Add eggplant one at a time and keep adding one at a time to keep the oil at the same temperature. Fry each one until tender and cooked. Drain on paper towels.

To Make Sauce:

Parboil celery for ten minutes. Add olives and cook another five minutes. Drain all water out of the pot. Add the thinned tomato sauce and boil for ten minutes. Add vinegar and sugar. Cook for three minutes. Add cheese. Make it come to a boil and then turn off heat and allow to cool.

Pour sauce over fried eggplants. Garnish with fresh Basil and mint that have been sliced into very thin strips.

No matter how you do it – it will be great! And if you happen to have a loaf of fresh-baked breadreally go for it!