When it comes to making appetizers I find that simple is better.
I received free samples of Breton Crackers mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Breton Crackers and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
If I’m hosting a dinner party or taking something to an event, a simple recipe with only a few ingredients come together quickly and easily. I love this recipe for grilled eggplant caponata for packing in flavor with only 5 ingredients. If you’re not familiar, caponata is a typical Italian antipasto or appetizer made with chucks of fresh eggplant, vinegar, and often capers, and/or tomato.
I opted to skip the tomato to keep this recipe extra simple, as well as because I just haven’t quite found a good tomato yet this summer. Thick slices of eggplant are brushed with olive oil, salt, and pepper and thrown on the grill until soft. After cooling, the slices get diced up and tossed with olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, and capers. The simplicity of this dish really allows the flavor of the eggplant to shine.
The briney and slightly salty flavor that the capers provide, with grilled-almost roasted garlic, and the supple texture of the eggplant pairs perfectly with a nice crunchy cracker. My mom has been serving Breton Original Crackers with her appetizer spreads for years, so I was really excited to try their Sweet Potato and Artisan Grain crackers, a variety I wasn’t familiar with.
I love that these crackers are good enough to eat on their own. They have tons of texture from the artisan grains, such as quinoa, and depth of flavor from the sweet potato thats baked right into the cracker. These large crispy crackers pair perfectly with the flavor and texture of the caponata. I honestly could not stop eating this!
Grilled eggplant caponata with Breton Sweet Potato and Artisan Crackers are great with a glass of wine on the couch, or to impress your dinner party guests, while still giving you plenty of time and energy to focus on the main course. Whip up some caponata, keep it in the fridge, and throw it on a Breton cracker whenever you’re ready for the perfect bite.
- 1 medium to large eggplant, sliced into ½' thick slices
- 2.5 T extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 T red wine vinegar
- 1 T capers
- 3 medium cloves garlic
- 2 t salt, divided
- ¼ t ground black pepper
- Optional: fresh herbs such as basil to garnish
- Lightly salt the eggplant slices with 1 t of salt and leave to drain in a colander in the sink about 20-30 minutes. This helps to remove some of the moisture from the eggplant. Rinse the salt from the eggplant and pat dry with a towel.
- Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Add the 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled, to a small square of tin foil, tent the pour to form a pouch and drizzle the ½ T olive oil. Seal the tin foil so the garlic won't fall out. Put the garlic pouch on the grill and close the lid.
- Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with 1 T olive oil and sprinkle with ½ t salt. Grill the eggplant slices until they are soft and have light brown grill marks, about 3-4 minutes per side.
- Remove the eggplant and the garlic from the grill and allow to cool before handling.
- Dice the eggplant slices and add them to a large bowl. Mince the cooked garlic and add it to the eggplant. Add the olive oil, vinegar, capers, ½ t salt (or to taste), and black pepper. Toss together.
- Store into the fridge until ready to serve. This recipe tastes best after several hours or over night to allow the flavors to come together.