In the Midwest, our gardens are just starting to produce some veggies and the anticipation is unbelievable.  (Seriously, this is the most excitement I have right now.) 

I get out a couple times a day and talk to my plants.  Our conversations are very one sided but fulfilling for all who are involved.  I do encourage their growth with frequent water baths and a nice big scoop of cow manure.  (Mmmm, who could resist that kind of treatment?)

Between what is being produced in my own garden, trips to the Farmer’s Market and what I receive each week from my CSA, my produce drawers are overflowing!  I have an abundance of yellow squash, zucchini and Japanese eggplant!!  The challenge was just not to grill them because I love all of these ingredients on the grill.  (Plus on the day I made this it was well over 100 degrees outside and I had no desire to stand over my grill.)

So I took my lead from an Italian dish called a caponata.  Traditionally made it is considered a sweet and sour relish.  The sweet component came from things like raisins (not a fan unless they are singing on a TV commericial) and the sour from vinegars.

My thought was why can’t I just roast all these veggies together and let their natural, fresh flavors shine.  (I also thought what ever happened to those singing raisins?  They were very talented.)

I made this recipe two ways.  First, I chopped the veggies and roasted them in the oven.  Once fork tender, a little goat cheese was added and it was a great side dish.  (Or entrée for my vegetarian friends.)

The other thing I did was put the finished product in my food processor and made it into a dip or bread spread.  (It wasn’t pretty in color but it was mighty tasty!!) 

Not A Caponata

(Most Caponatas have sweet elements like raisins and a crunch like pine nuts.  I like the versatility of this dish better and how it lets the summer garden shine.)


1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 ounce)  I like to use fire-roasted in this dish.

2 zucchini (cut into circles and then make half circles or moons)*

2 yellow squash….mine were huge and I should have used one (cut exactly like the zucchini)

1 Japanese Eggplant (Diced)

1 white onion, large dice

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 TBSP olive oil

1 ½ tsp fresh oregano, chopped


3 ounces crumbled goat cheese

Toasted baguette slices


  • Preheat your oven to 400.
  • In a large bowl, add zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, onion, garlic, oregano and olive oil.
  • Mix gently and add a nice sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  • In a 3 quart baking dish, add the canned tomatoes to the bottom of the dish.
  • Pour the bowl of vegetables over the canned tomatoes and spread evenly.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  (Veggies should be fork tender.  I check them at 20 minutes and then if they are not done, I continue to roast them.)
  • Serve as a side dish or on top of fish.  (It is great the next day on a sandwich too!)

Optional (Appetizer):  When the initial baking is done, sprinkle the goat cheese over the top and broil a few minutes until cheese gets soft and gooey. Mash it all up together and serve on slices of toasted baguette.

*Peeling the veggies is up to you.  I peel some strips off of each veggie so they are “striped”.  You can peel them all the way or not at all.  It is your call!

I really loved this recipe.  It is pretty good for you and really simple!!  And the best part is there is some extra room in my fridge and I didn’t waste a thing.