Eggplant Caponata, Collard Greens and Mushrooms, Orange Beets

Eggplant Caponata

  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 teas. oregano
  • 1 ½ cups plum tomatoes
  • 12 pitted sliced green olives
  • 1 Tbsp. drained capers
  • 1 teas. oregano
  • 2 teas sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teas. salt
  • Fresh chopped parsley, optional

Peel the eggplant and cut into ½ inch cubes. Drain and coarsely chop the plum tomatoes. Rinse the eggplant and pat it dry. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the celery to the oil and sauté for about 4 minutes until softened, stirring frequently. Add the onion and garlic to the celery and continue to cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Remove celery and onion from skillet using a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Heat the remaining olive oil in the skillet and add the eggplant.

Cook the eggplant, stirring constantly until it is lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Stir the cooked celery mixture, tomatoes, olives, tomato paste, capers and oregano into the eggplant. Bring this mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until the mixture thickens, about 15 minutes. Stir in the wine vinegar, sugar and salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl or platter and garnish with chopped parsley, if desired.

Mushrooms and Collard Greens

  • 1 lb. fresh collard greens
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 teas. olive oil
  • 1 teas. minced garlic
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 8 oz. fresh sliced mushrooms

Wash the collard greens and remove the stalks. Tear the collard greens into pieces. In a large skillet place the water and bring the water to a boil. Add the collard greens to the water, cover the skillet, and cook the greens over high heat for 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the collards and set aside. Add the olive oil to the same skillet you were using and heat the oil over medium heat.

Add the garlic and onions to the olive oil and sauté for about 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt and cook for about 5 minutes until mushrooms are tender, stirring frequently. Reduce heat, return the collard greens to the skillet, cover and cook for about 2 minutes until hot.

Orange Beets

  • 2 cups sliced cooked beets
  • 4 teas. butter or margarine
  • 2 teas. firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 3 teas. lemon juice
  • 2 teas. cornstarch
  • 2 teas. orange marmalade
  • Dash salt

Cook the beets, butter or margarine and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until butter or margarine and sugar have melted. In a small bowl combine the lemon juice, orange juice, cornstarch and salt and stir to dissolve the cornstarch. Pour this liquid mixture over the beets and bring to a boil while stirring constantly.

Continue to cook and stir this mixture until it thickens. Reduce the heat and add the marmalade and stir well. Remove beets from heat and allow them to cool slightly. Cover the pan and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to bring out the flavors. Reheat beets and serve.