Recipe of the week: Sicilian caponata

Italian cuisine surprises with its diversity, each region of the Mediterranean countries can offer a variety of unique food options. The most delicious pesto you need to look for in Liguria, Calabria is famous for its risotto with saffron and ossobuco, and Sicily offers gourmet dishes inspired by Italian, Spanish and Arabic cultures.

Caponata is a traditional Sicilian dish of eggplant with other vegetables. Several centuries ago, the caponata was made with the addition of fish cappone (hence, according to one version, was the name of the stew) and seafood, but after a time, the recipe was transformed and was prepared solely from vegetables.

The main highlight of the dish – a unique blend of different flavors: olive oil, vinegar, sweet raisins and vegetables. Some chefs in addition to the basic ingredients add to the recipe a little grated almonds, others prefer to set off taste of fennel or a pinch of dark chocolate, however, we suggest to familiarize with the original recipe, how it is prepared in Sicily.

Ingredients:

  • Eggplants 1.5 kg
  • Large tomatoes 0.5 kg
  • Onion 1 PC.
  • Celery (stem) 40 g
  • Raisins 40 g
  • Garlic 4 cloves
  • Green olives 25-30 PCs.
  • Capers 2 tbsp
  • Olive oil
  • Vinegar 60 ml
  • Fresh Basil
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar 1 tbsp.

Method of preparation:

Eggplant cut into cubes, salt and leave for 25-30 minutes in order that from them the bitterness left. Then fry the eggplant in olive oil and lay them on a paper towel to absorb the extra oil (see also: 5 kitchen secrets you may not know (or doubt their veracity)).

Next, chop the onions, lightly fry it in olive oil, cut into large cubes the tomatoes and add to the onions. Also add fresh Basil, a little salt and leave the dish on medium heat for about 20 minutes.

While preparing the tomatoes, prepare the olives, capers and celery. Olives and celery cut into small pieces and send in a heated pan with olive oil, also add the capers. After a couple of minutes add to the pan the eggplant, raisins and tomato sauce. Next, pour in the vinegar and add the sugar. Saute a couple of minutes under the lid.

Ready to serve the caponata cold. If desired, the dish can be decorated with greenery and fresh parsley. Some chefs advise to serve the dish with lightly toasted slices of white bread.

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