CSA | Caponata

I think I've finally done it. I've caught up on produce usage and we should be done with this week's box on Friday night, just in time to get next week's fare. Yay! Now, as long as we don't go anywhere or eat out, we should be fine. 

In this week's box: arugula, purple potatoes, eggplant, carrots, tomatoes, onions, kale, strawberries, garlic, sungold tomatoes, green and purple peppers.

The amount of eggplant that we've received so far has been manageable. We struggle with eggplant. It's such a summer staple, but neither of us has ever really been able to get excited about it. I think it just takes time and the right recipes. This one was pretty good; an eggplant stew with green pepper, red onion, white beans, and tomatoes served on a bed of bulgur.

Silas really liked this dish, but he's also been on a bean kick lately. He did pick out the eggplant and eat that as well, though.

We bought our first direct-from-the-farm chicken last week. I haven't dealt with a whole chicken since before I was pregnant with Silas. I didn't have many food aversions while I was pregnant, but I absolutely could not stand touching raw meat. Cutting up a whole chicken was out of the question. This one we roasted and served with braised Swiss chard and carrots with thyme. A very square meal.

I picked the carcass clean (which I threw into the freezer to later be made into stock) and used the meat to make chicken salad sandwiches. Yum.

With the cool front that's moved through, I've finally felt like I can turn on the oven without melting. Many batches of baked potato fries have been the result. Steve grew up calling these "home fries." I always knew them as "pie fries." Either way, we ate them with nut burgers.

The sungold tomatoes were sauteed with capers and lemon juice to make a pasta sauce. This was a repeat performance of this dish for a week or two ago. We always get to the end of the week and I have no idea what to do with our cherry tomatoes. This is an easy and yummy way to use them up.

And finally, our caponata over creamy polenta. I hadn't planned ahead to make this meal, but was able to pull it together with CSA produce and things we had in our pantry and 'fridge. I love when that happens. If we had a favorite eggplant dish, this would be it. 

Caponata over Creamy Polenta

1 green pepper, diced
2 medium onions, diced
1 patty pan squash, peeled, seeded, and diced
5 celery ribs, chopped
3 eggplants, peeled and diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper to taste
a handful of raisins, roughly chopped
a handful of kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 C. chicken stock
1 1/2 C. whole milk
1 C. polenta
3 TBS. butter
2 TBS. honey
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
pine nuts to garnish
1/2 C. parsley, chopped

1. Heat the EVOO in a very large skillet over medium heat. Chop the veggies in the order listed and add to the pan as you go. Stir and season with salt and pepper.
2. Add the raisins and olives and cook until the whole mixture is tender, about 15 minutes. 
3. Add the balsamic vinegar, stir, and reduce heat to low.
4. While the veggies are cooking, bring the stock and milk to a boil.
5. Whisk in polenta and continue whisking for about 2 minutes, or until it thickens. 
6. Add butter, honey, and cheese and stir until butter melts. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Put a spoonful or two of polenta in a bowl, top with caponata and sprinkle with parsley and pine nuts.
8. Enjoy!


  1. Courtney, your photos are gorgeous. With the eggplant, I know this seems painfully obvious, but I can't get enough eggplant parm. You can saute the eggplant instead of breading the heck out of it, and use half the amount of cheese. Very yum!

    1. Actually, the eggplant parm isn't too obvious as we've never made it! I keep trying to hide it in these stew-type recipes, but maybe what I need to do is just cook it simply and enjoy it for what it is. If we get eggplant this week, I'm goin' for it!

  2. Looks wonderful, veggies looks so beautiful in pics!

  3. Honest to goodness, my stomach growled will reading your recipe!

  4. Everything looks so yummy! It's funny, I had the same aversion when I was pregnant. Have you tried making bruschetta with the cherry tomatoes? Some basil, garlic, EVO, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper to taste and you're good to go. We've been living off of this all summer. Put on some romain lettuce with some parm cheese...heaven!

    1. Mmmmmm...bruschetta. No, I haven't made that yet, but what a wonderful idea! That's a good lunch dish, perfect for Silas and I. Thanks!

  5. What a great box. So versatile too. Have a great weekend!

  6. You're making me hungry. Great shots!