Caponata siciliana – Sicilian eggplant caponata. My family recipe.
Caponata is a Sicilian eggplant (aubergine) dish consisting of a cooked vegetable salad made from chopped fried eggplant and celery seasoned with sweetened vinegar, with capers in a sweet and sour sauce.
Numerous local variations of the ingredients exist with some versions adding olives, carrots and green bell peppers, and others adding potatoes, or pine nuts and raisins.
There is a Palermo version that adds octopus, and an aristocratic Sicilian recipe includes lobster and swordfish garnished with wild asparagus, grated dried tuna roe and shrimp.
However, these last examples are exceptions to the general rule of a sweet and sour cooked vegetable stew or salad.
Today, caponata is typically used as a side dish for fish dishes and sometimes as an appetizer, but since the 18th century it has also been used as a main course.
Ingredients for 4 people :
4 aubergines cut into pieces
2 stalks of boiled celery
2 chopped onions
80 grams of green olives
1 tablespoon of capers
1 handful of pine nuts
1 cup of fresh tomato sauce
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons of vinegar
1 tablespoon of sugar
Fry the aubergines in small pieces and remove the excess oil.
Keep them aside.
In a pan, brown the chopped onions and boiled celery with the olive oil.
Add the capers, olives, basil, mint and tomato.
Cook for about 15 minutes.
Add the fried aubergines and cook for another 5 minutes.
Add the vinegar and sugar and cook over high heat, adding salt and pepper.
Turn off the heat and let it cool completely.
Decorate with fresh basil.
Serve cold caponata with homemade bread.
Enjoy your meal!