I was planning on making a regular eggplant sauce to go over pasta for my family one night, but then I saw the capsicums, mushrooms and olives in the fridge and knew I had to turn it into a Cacciatore. Chicken Cacciatore used to be one of my all time favourite dishes as a non-vegan and I would have it at least once a week. It has so much depth of flavour and in my non-vegan days, I classified this as one of my indulgent healthy meals because it tasted too good to be good for you. I absolutely LOVE eggplant and it is a great meat replacement because of it’s taste and texture. It also goes so well in any Italian dish and so I made a chicken cacciatore the exact same way that I would normally make it, but replaced the chicken with eggplant! It was a total hit in my household and I’ve served it with a variety of different food and it has been a winner each time.
I’ve served it as a buddha bowl with steamed vegetables, roasted potatoes, pumpkin and sweet potato, over pasta with spinach mixed through and over couscous. It’s delicious and I’m sure it will win over any meat eater! It’s also a fantastic main dish, which I know is something that a lot of vegans struggle to find when it comes to cooking. If you want to make this dish more hearty then feel free to add in some chickpeas or lentils.
~1 small brown onion, thinly slices
~2 garlic cloves, crushed
~2 medium eggplants, cut into thick rounds
~400 grams button mushrooms, quartered
~1 capsicum, sliced into strips
~1 can of diced tomatoes
~1 cup vegetable stock
~1 tbsp dried oregano
~1/2 chopped fresh rosemary
~1/2 cup pitted and halved kalamata olives
~1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
~1/4 cup white wine (optional)
~Additional water as needed
~ Firstly, prep all of your vegetables according to the ingredients list
~ Saute the onion and garlic in a pot over medium heat, using either water or oil
~ Add in the eggplant and cook for 5 minutes. Stir every minute or so until the eggplant begins to brown and soften. If it starts to catch to the bottom of the pot add a splash of water.
~ Add in the mushrooms, and capsicum and cook for 2 minutes.
~ Add in the rest of the ingredients, omitting the chilli or the white wine if you wish.
~ Bring the cacciatore up to a boil and then let it simmer for 30-45 minutes or until the eggplant is softened and the sauce has thickened. Add about 1/4 cup of water at a time if the cacciatore if too much liquid has evaporated and the eggplant is not yet fully cooked.
~ Serve according to your preferences! It is great over pasta and couscous and served with steamed vegetables and/or roasted vegetables.
I hope you like it guys!