Spicy Caponata Panini…a Guest Post from Michael Natkin of Herbivoracious

by on December 6, 2011

Post image for Spicy Caponata Panini…a Guest Post from Michael Natkin of Herbivoracious

How gorgeous does that Spicy Caponata Panini look? I can say this objectively because I didn’t actually make it. This one comes from my friend Michael Natkin of the blog Herbivoracious. Michael creates the kind of vegetarian dishes that I would choose over meat any day of the week – big flavors, colors and textures that you want to just devour off of the computer screen (his photography is truly mouthwatering). I’m proud and honored to have him share this incredible sandwich-with-a-kick today. Please welcome Michael!

* * *

I’m excited to be posting on Panini Happy today. Kathy and I have been friends for awhile, and I love what she has built here – a whole empire devoted to that most lovable of all foods, a delicious hot sandwich! I don’t post very many sandwiches on Herbivoracious, but I wanted to come up with a doozy to share with you today.

I’ve been greatly enamored of Mama Lil’s peppers lately. If you haven’t had them, they are hot little pickled goathorn peppers packed in olive oil. They are made up here in Seattle so we see them on pizza, pasta, sandwiches, and even ice cream (kidding!). If you can’t find them in your area, they are available at ChefShop.com.

I thought it would be fun to use Mama Lil’s in caponata, which is a classic Sicilian appetizer of sautéed eggplant in a sweet and sour (agrodolce) sauce. Sicily is close to north Africa, so they often incorporate complex flavors that are not so common in savory dishes around the rest of Italy, like the cinnamon and cocoa powder used here. These flavors aren’t dominant, but add an interesting background to the dish.

Now I’m not kidding when I say this panini is spicy! If you don’t like seriously hot stuff, you can make this with roasted red bell peppers instead, and add a pinch of chili flakes and a bit more vinegar. I bet you can roast peppers right on a panini press, right Kathy?

You can easily make the caponata in a day or two in advance, and then use it for panini in a hurry on a weeknight.

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:

>Ready to buy a panini press? Check out my Panini Press Buying Guide for the features to look for.

>Want more panini recipes? See my Recipe Index for a list of all recipes on Panini Happy.

>Traveling to a new city soon? Browse Panini Happy’s Great American Sandwich Guide to find the best sandwiches across the country!

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. December 7, 2011 at 5:58 am

looks delicious! Great looking panini
Alison @ Ingredients, Inc.´s last blog post ..Chipotle Vegetarian Chili Recipe


2 Carolyn December 7, 2011 at 7:54 am

Fantastic guest post, I love caponata so I can see how it would make a great sandwich.
Carolyn´s last blog post ..Hazelnut Roasted Brussels Sprouts (Virtual Holiday Brunch Potluck)


3 Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb December 7, 2011 at 8:39 am

Oh your Panini looks lovely! I wish I could grab it out of screen and take a huge bite. like heaven.


4 Yuri - Chef Pandita December 7, 2011 at 4:54 pm

I love caponata, the spicier the better 🙂
Yuri – Chef Pandita´s last blog post ..Muffin Monday: Chocolate Nutella Brownie Muffins!


5 Jeanette December 7, 2011 at 5:32 pm

I love a spicy caponata – would love to try Mama Lil’s Peppers.
Jeanette´s last blog post ..Asian Fusion Omelette/Frittata Recipe {Virtual Holiday Brunch Potluck}


6 Nisrine M. December 7, 2011 at 7:23 pm

As a lover of eggplant, I’m really craving your panini. Delish.


7 sara December 8, 2011 at 1:23 am

YUM. This sandwich looks insanely good!
sara´s last blog post ..Fresh Ginger Custard Pumpkin Pie


8 Divya @flavourfiesta December 8, 2011 at 11:06 am

Great guest post! I have to say I’ve never tried caponata before, but this looks really good. *mouth waters*
Divya @flavourfiesta´s last blog post ..New series- How to create your very OWN magazine!


9 vanillasugarblog December 9, 2011 at 6:50 pm

man that does look good.
this is the kind of condiments that I eat as a meal! no really.
no one else likes this but me. i crave this stuff all the time and do even put it on my morning eggs. yes please. pickled eggs? remember those? i love them lol
vanillasugarblog´s last blog post ..cream cheese filled sugar cookie wedges


10 Feast on the Cheap December 13, 2011 at 1:30 pm

I’ve been so sensitive to spice recently I’d definitely have to make with roasted bell pepps, but this looks yummy. There is just something about those winter caponatas
Feast on the Cheap´s last blog post ..Baked Onion Rings with Old Bay


11 Kevin (Closet Cooking) December 31, 2011 at 1:27 pm

This is one tasty sounding panini!
Kevin (Closet Cooking)´s last blog post ..Top 10 Recipes in 2011


Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

Previous post:

Next post: