Make Ahead

Summer Squash and Artichoke Caponata over Polenta

June 30, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

I became obsessed with eggplant caponata last year after a friend served it to me as an appetizer. However, when I first tried to make it myself, I didn't have any eggplant on hand. So I substituted summer squash and zucchini (and one random patty pan) along with some artichokes and created this wonderfully complex dish. It can be served over chicken or fish or on bread, but I prefer it over a creamy polenta for the contrast in textures. —fiveandspice

What You'll Need
  • Summer Squash and Artichoke Caponata
  • 2 pounds assorted summer squash, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1/4 cup whole olives, pitted and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons dried currants
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
  • Creamy polenta
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups polenta (cornmeal)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  1. Summer Squash and Artichoke Caponata
  2. In a large frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the chopped summer squash until tender. Remove from heat.
  3. In a separate sautee pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium, stir in the onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and sugar and stir to coat the onions. Allow to cook for another couple of minutes.
  4. Next add the tomatoes and allow to cook for about 5 minutes, then stir in the vinegar, artichokes, capers, olives, currants, and the cooked summer squash. Cook until everything is heated through, another 5 or so minutes.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over the creamy polenta, topped with a little sprinkling of fresh basil.
  1. Creamy polenta
  2. In a large pot bring water and cream to a boil. Add the salt, then slowly pour in the polenta, stirring vigorously to prevent clumping.
  3. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for about 10 minutes until the polenta is thickened, stirring pretty much constantly.
  4. Remove from the heat and gently stir in the butter and Parmesan and thoroughly blended in. Divide between serving dishes and top with caponata.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Amy Purdie White
    Amy Purdie White
  • meganvt01
  • fiveandspice

6 Reviews

Amy P. July 20, 2015
Thanks for the recipe - this was delicious and very easy. I skipped the tomatoes because I can't eat them, used marinated artichoke hearts with 1/4 cup of the marinade in place of the white wine vinegar, and used premade polenta rounds flavored with basil and garlic and broiled in the oven for 5 minutes to save time. The result is a unique and pleasing dish hearty but not too heavy for summertime.
meganvt01 July 18, 2012
This looks amazing - I have tons of summer squash from my CSA and this looks like just the ticket - and creamy polenta...always a winner.
fiveandspice July 19, 2012
Thanks megan! It is definitely an excellent way to use up the skads of summer squash that come rolling in at this time of year.
meganvt01 July 19, 2012
update - i made this tonight - and it is truly fantastic. love the freshness of the summer squash combined with the sweetness of the traditional caponata. thanks for a great dinner fiveandspice!
fiveandspice July 20, 2012
Oh good! I'm so happy you liked it! And really glad you let me know your thoughts! :)
fiveandspice July 5, 2010
Ha! And by complex, I mean in flavors, not to make!