Chef Aram Elie holding bottle of wine.Congratulations to our lunch chef Aram Elie, who last month took home first place honors at a cooking competition hosted by local wine bar Paola’s Vinum.

Herewith, the winning recipe. Enjoy!

Eggplant Caponata
Makes about 25 crostinis

1 eggplant, finely diced
1 red onion, finely diced
3 stalks celery, finely diced
1 bunch Swiss chard: stems, finely diced; greens, roughly chopped
½ c golden raisins
¼ c pine nuts or slivered almonds
¼ c lemon juice
¼ c balsamic vinegar
olive oil
1 baguette, cut into ¼ in. slices
fresh Parmesan cheese, grated

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Season eggplant with salt, pepper, and olive oil and roast until tender, about 20-25 minutes.
  3. Saute red onion, celery, and chard stems in olive oil until tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add greens to the saute pan and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes, then add eggplant.
  5. Stir in raisins, nuts, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar and simmer a few minutes until the flavors blend. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Drizzle baguette slices with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and toast in oven until golden brown.
  7. Spoon the eggplant mixture onto bread slices and top with Parmesan and a drop or two of balsamic vinegar.
  8. Serve warm or cold.

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