Purple Cauliflower Caponata with Whipped Ricotta


Traditional caponata is a Sicilian specialty of eggplant stewed in oil with tomatoes, capers, and olives. A purple cauliflower adds not only a contrasted crunch to the mix, but also an additive hue of purple to the plate. I plucked my cauliflower at last week's farmers market run. Its brightness instantly caught my eye at the entrance and inspired my latest weeknight meal.

Inspired by a recently published Cooking Light recipe, my roasted vegetables layered atop a spoonful of whipped ricotta and alongside spiced turkey meatballs. The combination is heavenly. especially with a matching colored glass of red wine, and the dish's overall consistency is light and airy throughout. Bon appetit.

Serves 4

1 purple eggplant, cubed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 head purple cauliflower, cut into 2-inch florets
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 pint dark cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons capers, drained
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
9 kalamata olives, chopped
Sea salt, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup part-skim ricotta.

1. Layer eggplant with kosher salt in a large colander. Sit for at least thirty minutes. Rinse to remove salt and residue.

2. Preheat oven to 400 on convection roast setting (if available). On a rimmed baking sheet, mix cauliflower, eggplant, garlic, tomatoes, capers, olives and olive oil. Season generously with sea salt and red pepper flakes.

3. Roast for 25 minutes, or until tomatoes begin to burst. Meanwhile, mix part-skim ricotta with sea salt and parsley. Spoon onto four plates, then top with caponata. Serve warm or at room temperature.