Ok diabetes, allow me to blow your mind. Here is a recipe that is both Italian and rife with chocolate that is made especially for you. November is American Diabetes Month, and so I am celebrating with a series of cookbooks the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has published. But here’s my attitude, as a physician, even if you do not have diabetes, these meals are smart and healthy eating for all who hope to prevent diabetes.
In 2012, 29.1 million Americans, or 9.3% of the population, had diabetes. AND, even more harrowing, 86 million Americans age 20 and older had prediabetes; this is up from 79 million in 2010. So think about getting one or all of these cookbooks for the holidays and feeling good about how you impact the health of your family. (And don’t worry, there are cookie and cake recipes in there!) Izzy has taken to napping with the Italian cookbook; instead of sugar plums, I imagine sweet dreams of eggplants and capers and green olives dancing in her head.
The epigraph of this book is an Italian proverb: The cuisine of a people is the only true testimony of their civilization.
Let’s not be a fast food nation anymore, America, shall we?
One other thing, I would never have put green olives and chocolate together in a sauce. But Oh Man is this good.
Sicilian Sweet and Sour Vegetable Caponata
Adapted from the Italian Diabetes Cookbook, by Amy Riolo ©2016 by the ADA, Inc.®
¼ cup EVOO
¾ pound eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
¼ yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/3 stalk celery, chopped
¼ tsp black pepper
1 TB tomato paste, thinned in ¼ cup water
½ cup canned crushed tomatoes
2 oz green onions, pitted, rinsed and chopped
1/8 cup white wine vinegar
1 TB finely grated unsweeted chocolate
3 TB shredded fresh basil
1 tsp pine nuts
4 slices of bread, toasted (I use my Tartine homemade sourdough)
Heat oil in 12 inch skillet on medium heat, and add eggplant to skillet and fry, tossing occasionally until browned. Transfer eggplant to a large bowl.
Then add the onions and celery to the skillet, season with pepper and saute for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add tomato paste, and cook until vegetables are caramelized and paste is evaporated, 2-ish minutes. Then add crushed tomatoes and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
Then stir in olives, vinegar (the original recipe adds 1/8 cup of raisins, but I hate raisins), and CHOCOLATE (whaaaa?) and stir until thickened, about 15 minutes.
Transfer mixture to bowl with eggplant, add basil and pine nuts and mix together. Let cool to room temp and then serve over your toasts like the weirdest bruschetta. YUM.
To order this book, please call 1-800-232-6733 or order online at ShopDiabetes.org. Stay tuned for ADA’s take on Sabores de Cuba coming up next.
Speaking of healthy, besides the good stuff falling on the floor from this cookbook’s recipes, make sure your dog’s regular diet is also as healthy as possible, like Wellness Pet Food! Thanks Wellness, Izzy LOVES her treats and kibble.