Eggplant Caponata
Serves 8 as appetizer

1 eggplant, partially peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
   Canola oil to sweat and sauté eggplant
2 ounces medium yellow onion,  diced small  
2 ounces red pepper, diced small
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
¼ cup canned tomatoes, crushed
1 ounce capers
1 ounce balsamic vinegar (more if needed to taste)
  Salt and pepper to taste
  Fresh basil or oregano to taste if desired

In a large pot sweat onions, peppers and garlic until tender. In a very large, very hot, well-oiled sauté pan brown eggplant until evenly colored all over (do this in batches so as to not crowd the pan). 

Once all eggplant is browned, add to pot with onions and peppers.  Add all other ingredients and cook covered for 15-25 minutes stirring occasionally until eggplant is cooked through. Add basil or oregano at end if desired.

1 quart milk
½ cup heavy cream
1 ounce lemon juice
   Salt to taste

Bring milk and heavy cream to a light simmer. Add lemon juice and allow milk solids to separate.  Strain mixture through fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.  Allow liquid to drain and cheese to cool.

To Plate:
Use a spoon full of the caponata, place on crostini. Place half a spoon full of ricotta on top. Finish with a few drops of extra virgin olive oil and a small pinch of sea salt.

1041 Dumaine St.,