Sicilian Caponata Recipe – A Classic Italian Starter

Sicilian Caponata Recipe – A Classic Italian Starter

This Sicilian caponata recipe is my absolute favourite topping for a garlic toasted ciabatta slice. Caponata is a sweet and sour Italian vegetable stew eaten hot or cold. The main ingredients are aubergine, celery, bell peppers and capers. Occasionally if I have a lot of vegetables to finish I add squash and courgette in addition to the classic ingredients. And the best thing about caponata is if you have spare you can easily toss with some cooked pasta or steamed basmati rice and pack for your lunch-box.

Tips for a great caponata recipe:

  • Never skip the process of removing the bitterness from the aubergine with salt. Raw aubergine is 90% composed of water, that has a bitter taste. In contact with salt, most of its water will come to its surface. Then you just need to pat dry and use, by doing this it will also not get soggy while frying.
  • When sauteeing the vegetables keep the flame on medium to high, the vegetables need to stay crunchy. When the vegetables overcook you end up with a stew where each bite tastes the same. Keeping them crunchy will keep the dish interesting with many flavours happening on every bite.
  • Resist the temptation of adding too much tomato, even if it looks dry, there needs to be a balance between all of the ingredients. And the moist given from the vegetables will be just enough.
  • Always garnish the caponata with fresh herbs, I use both basil and young celery leaves. In a dish packed with flavour, it is important to also give some freshness to it.

AuthorAndreia Machado

Yields2 Servings
Prep Time30 minsCook Time20 minsTotal Time50 mins

 1 Large aubergine
 1 Onion Sliced
 1 Bell Pepper diced
 2 Celery Stalks Peeled & Sliced
 1 tbsp Capers
 2 Tomatoes Chopped
 10 Mixed green and black olives
 1 tbsp Pine nuts
 1 Sprig of Basil
 ½ tsp Caster Sugar
 15 ml White wine vinegar
 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
 Salt to taste
 Rapeseed oil to fry
 few light coloured celery leaves

1

Dice the aubergine in 2cm cubes, put in a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave for half hour, the aubergines will release water and bitterness, pat dry.

2

Heat up rapeseed oil in a pan, when hot add the aubergine and fry until golden brown, then keep aside.

3

Heat up the olive oil in a new pan, add onions and fry until soft, add the capers, olives and the pine nuts, and cook for 2 minutes.

4

Add the celery and the bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes on medium to high flame, then add the chopped tomatoes and the basil, cook until soft then add the fried aubergine mix to coat, season with salt.

5

Turn the flame on high, add the sugar and deglaze with the vinegar, when the vinegar aroma becomes less intense, the caponata is ready, garnish with more fresh basil and the celery leaves. Serve with sourdough stonebaked baguette toasted with garlic & olive oil

Ingredients

 1 Large aubergine
 1 Onion Sliced
 1 Bell Pepper diced
 2 Celery Stalks Peeled & Sliced
 1 tbsp Capers
 2 Tomatoes Chopped
 10 Mixed green and black olives
 1 tbsp Pine nuts
 1 Sprig of Basil
 ½ tsp Caster Sugar
 15 ml White wine vinegar
 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
 Salt to taste
 Rapeseed oil to fry
 few light coloured celery leaves

Directions

1

Dice the aubergine in 2cm cubes, put in a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave for half hour, the aubergines will release water and bitterness, pat dry.

2

Heat up rapeseed oil in a pan, when hot add the aubergine and fry until golden brown, then keep aside.

3

Heat up the olive oil in a new pan, add onions and fry until soft, add the capers, olives and the pine nuts, and cook for 2 minutes.

4

Add the celery and the bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes on medium to high flame, then add the chopped tomatoes and the basil, cook until soft then add the fried aubergine mix to coat, season with salt.

5

Turn the flame on high, add the sugar and deglaze with the vinegar, when the vinegar aroma becomes less intense, the caponata is ready, garnish with more fresh basil and the celery leaves. Serve with sourdough stonebaked baguette toasted with garlic & olive oil

Sicilian Caponata | Caponata Siciliana

 

Looking for other recipes with aubergine?

Pasta alla Norma | Parmigiana | Tamarind and Coconut Aubergine Curry



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *