Caponata is a Sicilian dish consisting of cooked chopped vegetables, capers and a light sweet and sour sauce.
Here’s a dish that can be served as both a starter or a side dish. It can also be served hot or cold. There are some variations according to the region in Italy where it is prepared. Some use carrots, olives, bell peppers, others asparagus and an aristocratic Sicilian recipe calls for lobster and octopus.
Bottom line is that with caponata you can take artistic liberties concerning the ingredients you wish to add, as long as eggplants (aubergines) are part of the dish.
- 2 eggplants
- olive oil (enough to sauté the eggplant)
- 5 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 large onions, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 tomatoes, seeded and coarsely chopped
- ½ cup capers, drained
- 1 cup olives (black or green), pitted
- 1 cup of fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ cup cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- Salt and black pepper to taste (remember that the capers and olives are salty)
- Cut the eggplants into cubes and sauté them in a little bit of olive oil until golden. Set aside;
- In the same pot sauté the celery, onions, and garlic until onions are translucent;
- Add the eggplant, tomatoes, capers, olives, parsley, vinegar and sugar;
- Adjust the salt, remembering that both the olives and the capers are salty, and add the black pepper;
- Over low heat stir everything, cover with the lid and cook for an additional 5 minutes;
- Serve cool with on a hard crust bread (Italian, whole wheat or sourdough) or toast;