Last month we took the little one to Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL to celebrate her 5th birthday.  During our trip we dined at a fabulous restaurant called Il Mulino New York Trattoria .  It is an Italian restaurant, modeled after the original (in New York) located in the Walt Disney World Swan Resort.  We had an wonderful evening there, full of yummy food.  One of the delicious things we ate there was a complimentary dish, an amuse bouche from the chef.  It was this eggplant dish, served room temperature with bread & spicy crackers and sliced salami.  We loved it!!  Of course, as soon as we got home, I had to try to make it.  So here is my version of Caponata, a traditional Italian appetizer or side dish.  It's like a bruschetta or vegetable relish/ salad.  You can serve it as an appetizer with bread or crackers.  Or as a side or topping on grilled chicken or fish.  I made my version to taste like it did at  Il Muno but you add other tradition ingredients like celery, capers, raisins, & pine nuts to suite your taste.
2 medium- large sized Eggplants
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
1 medium-large Yellow Onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup Black Olives, halved
4-5 Cloves of Garlic, Smashed
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
8-9 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Fresh, chopped Flat Leaf Italian Parsley
Freshly grated Parmesan, to garnish
Preheat the oven heat to 425 degrees.
Chop the eggplant into 1" (ish) pieces.  Place the eggplant on sheet pans (I used 2) & drizzle with a little olive oil (about 2 1/2 tbsp).  Toss to evenly coat then season with salt & pepper.
Roast for 30-40 minutes, flipping once to ensure even browning.  Let cool on the roasting pan.
Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees.  Place the whole cherry tomatoes on a roasting pan with the cloves of garlic.  Drizzle a little olive oil lover top then toss to coat (approx 1-2 tbsp).  Make sure to coat the cloves of garlic well with oil so they don't burn.  Season with salt & pepper.
Roast in the oven at 325 degrees for about an hour, until the tomatoes are soft & start to caramelize.
While the tomatoes are roasting, coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil & heat to medium.  Add the chopped onion & season with a little salt & pepper.  Saute for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until they start to caramelize.
Add the roasted tomatoes & garlic to the onions & stir to combine.
Turn off the heat & gently add in the roasted eggplant to the roasted tomatoes, onions & garlic.
Add in the black olives, then pour in the balsamic & red wine vinegar over top.
Toss in some freshly chopped parsley & stir to combine well.
Refrigerate over night to let the flavors marry then bring to room temperate before serving.
You can serve this the day you make it,  just let it sit to room temperate first.  Slice up a baguette, top with some freshly grated Parmesan Cheese & enjoy!

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