Caponata or Ratatouille, is not a special occasion dish. Yet, most of us make it occasionally, when someone in the family hungers for it. And, when most of the main ingredients happen to be around. Not that it is difficult or time consuming.
Not that it needs special techniques or tools.
The only specialty item on this cutting board are the salted capers. You don't need them. But, next time you go shopping, pick up the salted plump variety. They had a certain flavoring that is hard to describe. Sicilians swear by them.
Actually, it is one of the easiest and most forgiving dish to prepare.
I just cooked a batch this morning to accompany my eggs; and had enough to freeze away for those impromptu meals when all I want is a savory vegetable stew to dip my bread in.
1/2 an eggplant, cut in chunks
one zucchini or yellow squash, in chunks
one small onion, diced
one green pepper, diced (I had small peppers)
one tomato, in chunks (I have used canned tomatoes)
one garlic clove, mashed
one bay leaf or thyme sprig
one Tablespoon of vinegar (I used balsamic)
two Tablespoons of olive oil
1.4 Cup of water
salt and pepper to taste
Saute the onion and pepper until soft, about five minutes or less.
Add the rest of the ingredients except the vinegar and water. Cook at slow heat for five more minutes. Add vinegar and a tablespoon of water. Add salt and pepper to taste. If the dish needs more cooking, add a bit more water at a time until all vegetables are soft.