If any cuisine has mastered the eggplant, it’s Italy’s. And the crowning dish in the country’s wide and deep eggplant repertoire is caponata, a sauté in which the veg really soaks up some bright and brilliant sweet and sour flavors. In this recipe, we’re serving it with farro, a fiber-rich grain that’s believed to have sustained the armies of ancient Rome. It might not fortify you on your way into battle, but it’ll certainly give you the energy to conquer your day.
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Red Bell Pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place farro in a large pot of salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, 25-30 minutes. Drain.
Wash and dry all produce. Halve, peel, and thinly slice onion. Cut eggplant into ¾-inch cubes. Core, seed, and remove white ribs from bell pepper, then slice crosswise into thin strips.
Toss eggplant, a large drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper on a baking sheet. Roast in oven until golden brown and softened, about 20 minutes, tossing halfway through.
Heat a large drizzle of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper and cook until just tender, 3-4 minutes, tossing. Add onion and cook until softened, another 4-5 minutes, tossing. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in sherry vinegar and cook until nearly evaporated, about 1 minute. Remove pan from heat.
While veggies cook, cut mozzarella into ½-inch cubes. Pick basil leaves from stems. Discard stems and roughly chop leaves.
When farro and eggplant are done, stir into pan with veggies along with mozzarella, basil, and a large drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Divide mixture between plates and garnish with almonds.