The juice for Maize Valley’s Chardonnay comes from Washington State. It’s just another example of the farm’s attempts to maintain diversity in what it can offer visitors who arrive all year long to sip and sample wines. Chardonnay can be produced into wines that range from dessert sweet to deliciously dry. This one is buttery, slightly oaky with hints of vanilla and buddies up beautifully with this delicious Caponata, a Sicilian appetizer or side dish, especially nice with roasted chicken.
- 1 eggplant
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 ounces sweet Italian sausage
- 1 small red onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 3 teaspoons chopped capers
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 to 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
- 2 tablespoons chopped scallions
In a large, nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the eggplant and a tablespoon of salt and cook until the eggplant is brown on all sides, about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towels. Set aside.
Reheat the pan and add the sausage, cooking over medium-high heat until golden and cooked through. Drain the sausage on a paper towel. When cool enough to handle, coarsely chop. Wipe the fat from the pan.
Reheat the pan; add the remaining oil along with the onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the sausage, eggplant, raisins, ginger, capers, tomatoes, orange juice, curry powder, pepper flakes, honey, ¼ cup of water and remaining salt. Stir well after each addition. Reduce heat to low and cook until eggplant is soft, adding more water if necessary, until mixture is chunky and has the consistency of a sauce, about 30 minutes.
Remove pan from the heat and add the vinegar, basil, parsley, rosemary and scallions. Serve at room temperature.
Note: If using as an appetizer, serve with toasted baguette slices.
Serves 8 as a side dish, more as an appetizer.
Photo by Jodi Miller