Tasty Tuesday: What’s Cookin’ With Princeton University Press

Cooked Books:

Dish - Cooked Books: Recipes from the Staff  of Princeton University Press
Recipes from the Staff of Princeton University Press

includes eighty-two recipes contributed by current and former members of the Princeton University Press staff. In 115 pages, it draws on the best culinary inspiration of our extended publishing community, their families, and their friends.

We marry the cultures of cooking and publishing a level deeper by tying the names of many of our favorite dishes to titles of our favorite books and, in some cases, names from the Press’s glorious past. And so we have “The Barrington Atlas of of Greek and Roman Chicken,” the “Copywriters’ Crutch Casserole,” and “Scribner’s Scrumptious Stuffed-Shell Tacos,” to go along with many other distinctive PUP offerings. While the Press-specific epithets may be mysterious to some readers, we trust the quality of the recipes and the liveliness of their presentation will compensate for any confusion.

Spoon - Cooked Books: Recipes from the Staff of Princeton University PressSpoon - Cooked Books: Recipes from the Staff of Princeton University PressSpoon - Cooked Books: Recipes from the Staff of Princeton University Press

Each Tuesday, PUP wants to share a recipe from our book for our blog readers to try. Tasty Tuesday is somewhat of a departure from our everyday content. We believe that cooking and cookbooks are a legitimate part of scholarly activity. Scholars like to eat, and many do not eat well enough. “Mens sana in corpore sano,” we always say. We hope the recipes in this book will nourish thought.

Rethinking Caponata Platter

From Classical Antiquity to Foucalt by Charles and Clara Platter

  • 1 red bell pepper, slicedPlate - Cooked Books: Recipes from the Staff of Princeton University Press
  • 1 large or 2 small eggplants (peeled, if you prefer)
  • ½–¾ cup olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic (or to taste)
  • ¼ cup tomato paste salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (F).

Cut eggplant into 1–1½ inch cubes. Put ½ cup olive oil into a greased baking pan with at least 2” sides. Dice garlic; place garlic and eggplant into baking pan.  Mix, to get everything covered with olive oil. Cover pan; use foil or something not flammable!

Place eggplant-garlic mixture in oven, remixing with a sturdy metal spoon after 15 minutes to make sure stuff is not sticking to the bottom of the pan.  Add more olive oil if necessary: the eggplant will suck up olive oil like crazy at first, but then—as it softens— the oil will return to the pan. So make sure the pan has enough  oil to avoid sticking—but be judicious, so you don’t end up with too much oil at the end.

After eggplant mixture has begun to soften (30 minutes or so) and the oil has begun to free up, add a ¼ cup tomato paste and stir the mixture thoroughly so paste is evenly distributed. Add 1 teaspoon  salt; however, if you decide to garnish  the dish with grated Parmesan, cut back on the salt.  Add 1 teaspoon crushed  red pepper  flakes. Continue  roasting  another  20 minutes or so, or until the eggplant is easily mashed  with a fork.  Check for spiciness  and re-season as necessary.

Add parsley; then add ½ cup grated Parmesan, if you’re making a dip. If you want to use as a crostini spread, sprinkle the cheese on top before throwing the mixture under the broiler to brown.

The dish is good to go at this point—hot, cold, or at room temperature. Serves enough to take to parties. Never any leftovers.

The Illustrations
The images of food, tableware, and cooking implements that figure prominently in this book are from Menu Designs, published by The Pepin Press, Agile Rabbit Editions, © 1999 and 2005 Pepin Van Roojen, www.pepinpress.com. These images are used with permission. Other incidental images of books and animals are taken from two Dover Electronic Clip Art Publications, Books, Reading and Writing Illustrations (CD-Rom and book © 1992) and 1565 Spot Illustrations and Motifs (CD-Rom and book © 2007) and are used in compliance with terms of use for materials from Dover Publications, Inc.


  1. Hello,

    We don´t you try one day with ecuadorian food? here in Mindo we make good one and we can tell you some options 🙂

  2. This sounds delicious! Can’t wait to give it a try!


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