Traditional Italian eggplant caponata

eggplant caponata

Caponata is one of the typical side dishes of Italian cuisine, Sicilian to be precise. Here is how we prepare traditional Italian eggplant caponata.

Caponata is one of the most famous side dishes of Italian culinary culture and is a fantastic mix of vegetables with a sweet and sour and tasty taste.

As with many traditional recipes, over the years many versions of this dish have appeared, with variations in ingredients and amounts of ingredients. Today we will prepare the original Sicilian caponata recipe.

Eggplant Caponata – serves up to 6

  • 2 lb (1 kg) dark eggplants
  • 1 lb (500 grams) celery stalks
  • 14 oz (400 grams) well-ripened tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato concentrate
  • 4 oz (100 grams) pitted green olives in brine
  • 2 oz (50 grams) salted capers, available at Pasta Nostra USA in Rockledge Gardens market
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of toasted pine nuts which you can pick up at Rockledge Gardens market
  • 1 glass of white wine vinegar
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Basil to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil for frying

eggplant caponata

Directions

  1. Prepare the eggplants: Wash the eggplants, remove the stalks and cut them into pieces without removing the skin. Place them in a colander and sprinkle with plenty of salt and let the water drain.
  2. Wash the celery stalks, remove any strings and cut the stalks into strips of about 1/4 inch.
  3. Place the tomatoes in boiling water for a few seconds, then pass them under cold water, peel them, remove the seeds and dice them.
  4. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion until it turns golden. Add the tomatoes and the concentrate and cook over medium heat for about ten minutes.
  5. Season with salt, pepper, celery, halved olives, pine nuts and capers, previously rinsed under running water to remove the excess salt.
  6. Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar and pour it into the sauce, stirring well. Cook on a low heat for about 20 minutes.
  7. Rinse the eggplant under running water, dry them by pressing them lightly in a cloth and fry them in plenty of hot oil. When they are golden brown, drain the eggplants and place them on a double sheet of kitchen paper. Add them to the sauce, mix well and leave them to simmer gently for five minutes.
  8. When the caponata is ready it is best served at room temperature, sprinkled with plenty of chopped basil. If properly sealed, you can keep it in the fridge for two or three days.

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