If you got any type of beans and some eggplants, you can make a satisfying dish like this one! Very quick and easy, you definitely need to try!
Why this works
This caponata-inspired bean and eggplant dish is a flavorful and satisfying vegetarian option that combines the essence of traditional caponata with the heartiness of beans. It features tender cubes of eggplant, creamy cannellini beans, and a medley of vegetables if you have any more in the fridge or pantry laying around. Seasoned it up to your liking and create a harmonious blend of flavors. It is a perfect cold antipasto too!
To prepare this dish, the eggplant is first salted to remove any bitterness, but I skipped this and went head searing it in high heat, frying until golden brown to achieve a deliciously crispy exterior seasoning with black pepper and a pinch of salt. Ideally a mixture of red onion, chopped celery sticks and cloves garlic is sautéed for a couple of minutes until fragrant and softened. Diced tomatoes, capers, and sliced olives are added to the pan, infusing the dish with their tangy and briny notes (optional). Another optional addition would be a splash of Red wine vinegar and a touch of sugar are incorporated to balance the flavors and create a sweet and sour undertone. You may add Pine nuts, green olives, red pepper
Finally, the cannellini beans are introduced, you may also use white beans if that is what you have, adding a creamy texture and protein-rich element to the dish. The beans absorb the flavors of the caponata, enhancing their taste and providing a satisfying bite. The dish is simmered to allow the ingredients to meld together, resulting in a rich and flavorful bean and eggplant caponata-inspired creation.
It can be served warm or at room temperature, allowing the flavors to develop and intensify. The caponata-inspired bean and eggplant dish is a versatile and delicious option that showcases the vibrant and robust flavors of Sicilian cuisine. Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil and lots of fresh basil for the best aubergine caponata.
Butter beans, also known as lima beans, are a type of bean that is known for its creamy texture and mild flavor. They are large, flat beans that come in both green and white varieties. Butter beans are a popular ingredient in many traditional dishes cuisines around the world.
These beans are a good source of plant-based protein, dietary fiber, and essential nutrients such as folate, iron, and potassium. They are also low in fat and cholesterol-free, making them a healthy addition to meals.
Butter beans can be cooked in various ways. They can be boiled until tender and then used in soups, stews, or casseroles. They can also be sautéed or roasted for a delicious side dish. Butter beans can be mashed or pureed to create creamy dips or spreads.
In Southern cuisine, butter beans are often cooked with ham or bacon for added flavor. They are a key ingredient in dishes like succotash, a combination of corn and lima beans, and hoppin' John, a traditional New Year's dish made with black-eyed peas, rice, and butter beans.
Butter beans can also be used in salads, adding a creamy and hearty element. They pair well with other vegetables, herbs, and dressings, creating a refreshing and nutritious dish.
Whether you enjoy them as a side dish, in soups, or as part of a salad, butter beans are a versatile and nutritious ingredient that can be incorporated into a variety of dishes. Their creamy texture and mild flavor make them a popular choice for those looking to add more plant-based protein to their diet.
Any type of eggplant will do. Italian eggplants, Large Aubergine or Japanese Eggplant. Cut them up into cubes and sear them well to bring out the sweetness before adding the beans. You don't want to end up with a mushy dip.
- Sear cubed eggplant, season as you go. I skipped the brining and salting oc the eggplant and it still turned out well!
- Drain the beans and throw them in the mix.
- Season with a little sweetener or umami enhancer, maybe mushroom powder or nutritional yeast.
- Simmer for around 20 minutes and let it rest.
- Maybe adding vegan pesto would be nice, some melted vegan cheese would be great too!
- Serve it on pasta or rice, maybe on toasts if you are into making sourdoug bread.
- As for me, I served it alongside some tomato salad with vegan Boursin and hearts of palm rice.
- Drizzle some infused olive oil and lemons and you are good to go!
Butter Bean Caponata
- 1 Can butter beans
- 1 Whole eggplant
- 5 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 teaspoon seasonung of choice
- 1 16oz tin tomato
- 1 Bunch basil
- Sear cubed eggplant, seasoning as you go. Feel free to get creative with your seasoning, maybe some paprika? Mushroom powder? Garlic powder?
- When you see that the eggplant starts to caramelize, add in your strained butter means. Put lid on and simmer for a while around 20 minutes.
- Garnish with some infused olive oil, chiffon are of basil and a squeeze of lemons. Serve with some toast, pita or some salad!