Eggplant is sautéed with garlic, onions and fire roasted tomatoes, then tossed with fresh basil. Plump golden raisins add a sweetness to the eggplant cabonata balanced on every crostini with a tart drizzle of balsamic pomegranate reduction. This recipe comes to us from Cara and Phoebe of Big Girls, Small Kitchen.
For the eggplant cabonata:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 medium eggplant, cut into ½ cubes
- 2 Vidalia onions, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 12oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup basil, coarsely chopped
To complete the eggplant cabonata pomegranate crostini:
- 3 French baguettes, cut on the bias into thin slices
- olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons pomegranate juice
- salt and red pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup basil, torn for garnish
To make the eggplant caponata:
Place 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add as much eggplant as will fit in the pan without over flowing. You can either sauté the eggplant in two batches or continue to add the excess cubes as the eggplant breaks down and space frees up in the pan. Sauté for 15-20 minutes, or until the eggplant is soft but not falling apart, adding more olive oil as needed. Remove and set aside.
In the same pan, add the remaining tablespoon olive oil as well as the garlic and onions. Sauté the garlic and onions over medium heat for 4-6 minutes, or until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the eggplant back to the pan. Continue to sauté over medium low heat for about 5 minutes, or until the flavors have melded together to preference.
Using the lid to keep the solid contents from spilling out, drain half of the juice from the can of tomatoes into the sink. Add the tomatoes and half of their juices to the eggplant mixture. Turn the heat back up to medium-high and cook for 10 minutes more, or until the acidity of the tomatoes has cooked off and the eggplant is beginning to fall apart.
Place the golden raisons in a shallow boil and cover with hot water. Allow to sit for ten minutes to rehydrate, drain and add to the eggplant mixture.
To complete the eggplant caponata pomegranate crostini:
Directly before assembling the crostini, add ½ cup of the fresh, chopped basil and stir to combine.
Preheat the oven to broil.
Arrange the baguette slices on a rimmed baking sheet. Heat a small bowl of olive oil, crushed garlic and red pepper flakes in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant. Brush each slice with the garlic pepper infused oil.
Toast the bread on the baking sheet in the oven for 2-5 minutes, or until the slices are golden brown and crispy, but not completely hard. Set aside to cool.
While the bread is toasting, combine the balsamic and pomegranate juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Turn heat down to medium-low, simmer for one minute, season with salt and set aside.
Scoop eggplant mixture onto individual baguette slices, garnish with a torn basil leaf and drizzle with a small amount of the balsamic-pomegranate reduction.