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May 2, 2013

Father Leo's Eggplant Caponata

Father Leo Patalinghug

This recipe comes from Rev. Father Leo Patalinghug, a Catholic priest and founder of Grace Before Meals.

"Grace Before Meals" was started on the concept that “the simple act of creating and sharing a meal can strengthen all kinds of relationships.” Since 2003, this simple concept has grown into the cookbook "Grace Before Meals: Recipes for Family Life," online videos, a blog, a TV series in production, and growing national exposure. 

In 2009, Fr. Leo was challenged to a “throwdown” by Food Network star Bobby Flay, for the celebrity chef’s signature show “Throwdown! With Bobby Flay.” The winner? In front of a home crowd at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Maryland, Fr. Leo’s fajitas dish was the annointed one.


Serves 4-6


4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large eggplant (aubergine), cut into ¼ inch pieces
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1 pinch red-hot chili pepper flakes
½ red onion, cut thinly
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
2-3 tablespoons white vinegar
2-4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper (or to taste)

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick pan over high heat. Add eggplant, garlic, and pepper flakes. Allow this to cook, tossing or stirring until eggplant begins to caramelize. Add remaining olive oil, onions, and parsley and continue to sauté for about 2-4 minutes. Add white vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Stir to cook all of the pieces evenly.

Depending on how large the eggplant is, it may be necessary to add more oil; do so a little at a time. Reduce heat and allow to cook for another 3-5 minutes.

Eggplant is perfectly cooked when it is soft, but retains its shape. Serve as a side dish, or as a main dish with steamed sticky rice.

Recipe provided courtesy of Father Leo Patalinghug. For more of Father Leo's recipes and to watch his video cooking demos, visit Grace Before Meals.