I am a long time meditator. The benefits of staying in the present moment have been enumerated many, many times by professionals from all walks of life. Meditation has been good for me physically and mentally. Yet, lately I have noticed that when I am in the kitchen, I have lost contact with the joy of preparation and just seem to be rushing to get to the end of the process. I have decided I need to get back to the joy cooking provides to me and I am setting off on this journey of cooking more mindfully. I invite you to join me.
So, I am going to share with you a recipe for caponata. It is a good recipe to prepare in a mindful manner because of the amount of chopping and combining. It is also perfect for this summer season when all the beautiful ingredients are available at your local market.
Here are a couple of things that I have put into place in order to make cooking a mindful experience.
- Make sure you have all of your ingredients assembled. You will avoid losing your focus looking for that missing ingredient.
- Create a distraction free cooking environment. Turn off the phone and the television. Allow yourself the pleasure of a quiet environment.
- Pay attention to what you are doing and don’t rush. Enjoy the process of being intentional with your knife cuts and measurements.
- Avoid the temptation to multi-task. Give yourself permission to be in this moment with the meal you are creating.
- 2 medium sized eggplant – Italian or white
- 2 celery sticks
- 3 carrots
- 1 can of diced tomatoes drained
- 12 pitted green olives – cerginola if you can find them pitted. Don’t use olives in brine
- 2 tablespoons of capers
- 3/4 cup of raisins reconstituted in white wine
- 3/4 cup roasted pignoli nuts
- 1 small bunch of basil roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons of honey
- basalmic wine vinegar
- salt and pepper
- Dice the eggplant and fry in a small amount of EVOO
- Dice the celery, carrots and onion
- Remove the eggplant and add enough oil to sauté the celery, carrots and onions
- One the vegetables are golden, add the drained can of diced tomatoes and basil leaves
- Cook for approximately 10 minutes
- Add to the pan the eggplant, capers, olives, raisins, pignoli, honey and vinegar
- Cook until all liquid has thickened and the vinegar has carmalized
- Taste and add salt and pepper
I hope you will give this adventure in mindful cooking a try. I will be away in July and have reposted some old but goody recipes. When I return in August, I hope to continue this series and will be anxious to hear about your experiences.