Category Archives: Antipasto

My Sicilian Grandmother always had the ability to whip up an antipasto plate whenever guests came to visit. Caponata was one of my favorites. It’s a sweet/sour eggplant salad that’s sure to please as a spread on bruschetta, crackers or mini sandwiches. This is one of the best ways to enjoy eggplant.

Creamy Leek Soup


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 5 leeks, (the white and light green section only), chopped (set aside a small amount for garnish, if desired )
  • 2 medium white onions, chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 medium red potatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup whipping cream
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste


  • Sautéed leeks
  • Chives, chopped
  • One leaf or two of flat leaf parsley
  • EVOO.

Melt the butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add the leeks and the onions. Cool until soft, but not brown, approximately 10 minutes.
Add water. Cook an additional 10 minutes.
Add potatoes and cook until tender, 15-20 minutes.
Puree in blender (in batches) or with an immersion blender. Add milk and whipping cream. Heat until very hot but do not allow to boil.
To garnish: Sauté a few slices of leeks in 1 teaspoon EVOO for about 4 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls. Top with sautéed leeks, chopped chives and a leaf or 2 of flat leaf parsley. Drizzle EVOO over garnish for additional flavor.

Italian Caponata


This is a great appetizer to serve to company and features fresh ingrediants.

  • 1 medium sized eggplant (approx. 1 1/2 lbs )
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons Cassata Sonoma extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion (sweet), chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 3 teaspoons capers
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil ( Rosemary Basil Infused preferred), set aside

Peel eggplant and cut 3/4-inch cubes. place cubes in a colander and add 3 teaspoons salt and mix thoroughly. Put paper towel on top of eggplant and add a few pounds of weight on top for an hour or two to drain in sink. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and add onions and celery. Sauté until onions become soft (take care not to burn). Add tomatoes to skillet and simmer with cover for 15 minutes with occasional stirring occasionally. Uncover pan add eggplant and the remaining ingredients, except for the remaining olive oil. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes and cool to room temperature. When cool, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil ( Rosemary Basil Infused) and serve. Keep in refrigerator in covered container for a quick treat to serve when company stops by.