Caponata is a dish originating from Sicily, with eggplants featuring as its main ingredient. The eggplant can be combined with additional vegetables, such as peppers, carrots or potatoes. The dish is seasoned with olive oil, capers and tomato sauce. It can be served by itself or with pine nuts.
This dish is perfect not only as a starter, but also as a main course or side dish. It can be served with crackers, toasted bread, meat, potatoes or rice. Below you will find a recipe for caponata, to which I also added green olives and canned tomatoes. Enjoy.
Ingredients for caponata.
- 600 g eggplant
- 100 g red pepper (e.g. bell pepper)
- 2 teaspoon of salt
- 6 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
- 100 g red onion
- 1 tablespoon of capers
- 15 pieces of big green olives
- 40 g celeriac stick
- 400 g canned tomatoes
- a small bunch of fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon of light brown sugar
How to make caponata.
Cut the eggplant into two centimetre-big cubes, put it in a bowl with 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of salt and mix. Next, place a plate on the top, weigh it down with a heavy object and set aside for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, pour off the juice, place the eggplant pieces on a paper towel and dry.
Pour 4 tablespoons of olive oil into a large frying pan, heat it up, add the eggplant pieces and cook for 8 minutes. Transfer the fried eggplant on a plate. Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the pan, add finely chopped onion, then fry on a low heat for 7 minutes. At the end of frying add the brown sugar.
Put the diced canned tomatoes (with sauce) to the fried onion and fry for 7-8 minutes, then add finely chopped celery, peppers, fried eggplant, whole olives, vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and capers. Fry for 6-7 minutes. At the very end, add finely chopped fresh basil. Allow the finished dish to stand for at least two hours before serving.
Good to know when making caponata.
Salting the eggplant removes its bitterness.
I used canned Italian tomatoes. The canned tomatoes can be replaced with fresh tomatoes.
There should be some space between the pieces of the fried eggplant. If the pan is too small, it is best to fry the eggplant in smaller amounts, not the whole eggplant at once.
Do you like eggplant? If so, try our recipe for Eggplant and chickpea salad.