Endive Leaves Stuffed With Caponata


0.5 - Eggplant, unpeeled, about ¾ lb (340 g)
1 - Sea salt
2 Tablespoon - Olive oil
1 - Small onion, finely diced
1 - Stalk celery, finely diced
2 - Large garlic cloves, finely minced
0.5 - Yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 Tablespoon - Red wine vinegar
0.25 Cup - Pitted kalamata olives, chopped
1 Teaspoon - Granulated sugar
0.5 Teaspoon - Crushed dried red peppers
1 - Ripe tomato, seeded and very finely diced
2 Tablespoon - Capers, rinsed and drained
1 - Pepper
0.25 Cup - Each, fresh basil and parsley, finely chopped
10 - Whole heads belgian endive, white or red or a combination
4 Ounce - Plain goat’s cheese, crumbled or blue cheese
0.5 Cup - Pine nuts or finely chopped walnuts, toasted


1. Finely dice unpeeled eggplant into ¼-in (0.5 cm) cubes. To release some of the bitter juices, toss with a little salt and place in a sieve. Top with a plate just small enough to fit snugly inside sieve. Place a weight on top, such as a 28 oz (796 ml) tin of tomatoes. Set in sink to drain for 30 minutes. Remove plate. Rinse eggplant with cold running water and transfer to a cloth-lined baking sheet. Blot dry with a clean kitchen cloth or paper towel. Heat oil in large, heavy saucepan. Add eggplant, onion, celery and garlic. Sauté until mixture is soft and pale golden, about 15 minutes. Add pepper, vinegar, olives, sugar, crushed peppers, tomato and capers. Cover and simmer for a couple of minutes, to blend flavours. Add salt and pepper to taste.

2. Caponata can be made to this point, covered and refrigerated for 1 to 2 days. To assemble, fold basil and parsley into caponata. Set aside. Wipe endive clean. Thinly slice a piece from the stem end and separate endive into leaves. Place a scant tablespoon of caponata filling into each leaf and arrange on a serving platter. Place a little crumbled cheese and toasted nuts on top of each leaf. Serve at room temperature.

No of servings: 4

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