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Why a PINK chef's coat?

Simply put, I carry my Dad's legacy with me through my cookbook, cooking and everyday I am writing my food columns, he is always with me. I carry my Mom with me through a silent reminder of her struggle with breast cancer that took her life, as well as the lives of many other women who have dealt with, and are still dealing with, this horrible affliction. Besides, why not pink? It makes a man look good!

C-a-p-o-n-a-t-a I-n-s-a-l-a-t-a

I am saying this slowly. It sounds almost poetic doesn't it? My inspiration? The violin! I have been studying violin since I was 5 years of age and have always been in love with the Italian language found throughout all music books. This dish is almost music to my ears and with a little of your own tweak here and there, it can "soothe the savage breast" in your home as well.

No protein needed! Either as a main coarse or as a side to another recipe, this salad is filling and well rounded with regards to the level of flavors. Throw in some hard boiled eggs, croutons or even some smoked turkey if needed, I didn't need it nor did I miss it.

This is also great as is and eaten in lieu of a vegetable with your meal. Either way, just enjoy the great tasting vegetables prepared the Italian way.

Ingredients

For 3 people

Recipe

  • 5 ounce(s) mixed greens
  • 1/2 lb(s) asparagus
  • 1 medium-sized eggplant, peeled, cored and diced
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup(s) extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 teaspoon(s) minced garlic in oil
  • 2 ounce(s) roasted red bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon(s) capers
  • 10 ounce(s) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup(s) apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup(s) red wine or balsamic vinegar
  • Shaved Parmesan cheese

C-a-p-o-n-a-t-a I-n-s-a-l-a-t-a Directions

  1. Rinse and drain mixed greens well. Evenly divide among 3 serving plates and keep in the refrigerator until needed. In the meantime, trim the asparagus and cut into 1" pieces: set aside.
  2. Place the eggplant in a large bowl and liberally sprinkle salt over them, turning so that most of the dices are touched by the salt. This shouldn't take any more than 2-3 teaspoons. Let this set for 20 minutes. Rinse well under cold water, let drain and pat dry with paper towels.
  3. In a large skillet, add 1/4 cup olive oil and garlic over medium-high heat. When hot, add asparagus, eggplant and peppers, saute for 3-4 minutes, or until asparagus starts to soften. Add the capers and cherry tomatoes. Continue cooking for 3-4 minutes or until tomatoes are just starting to soften.
  4. Remove from heat, season to taste with salt and pepper and top each plate of greens with an equal amount of caponata. Drizzle with vinegar, olive oil and top with shaved Parmesan cheese.
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