Sicilian Caponata

 

It is believed by some that this Sicilian antipasto originated with the local fisherman. Their caponata alla marinara made with seafood kept well because of the vinegar which acted as a preservative.

Caponata is easy to prepare and keeps for at least a week (it’s always gone by then but I think it would keep longer).

You can serve it hot over pasta, as a side dish with fish or the traditional way with toasted Bruschetta (rubbed with garlic and a drizzle of olive oil).

It’s pretty darn good right out of the pot too! Served at room temperature or just slightly warm seems to bring all the flavors together nicely.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 eggplant
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 sweet red bell peppers
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 (1-pound) can Italian-style tomatoes, diced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 12 Kalamata olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • Salt and pepper

 

    1. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and score the cut surface. Sprinkle with salt and let drain in a colander or on paper towels for 30 minutes.
    2. Rinse, pat dry and cut into 1 inch cubes.
    3. Heat oil in large saute pan, add onion, peppers (cut into 1 inch cubes) and celery (1/4 slice) . Cook on low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
    4. Add eggplant and cook another 5 minutes.
    5. Add the tomatoes with juice. (If they are whole cut into same size as peppers and eggplant).
    6. Mix together vinegar, sugar and garlic, add to pan, cook 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
    7. Slice olives in quarters and add to vegetables with capers. Stir well to let all the vegetables soak up the juices.
    8. Simmer, uncovered, over medium heat 15-20 minutes to evaporate most of the liquid. Stir now and then.
    9. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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