The recipe for Sicilian caponata has nearly 30 variations, all authentic and more or less well known, depending on latitude, such as the recipe for caponata from Trapani, caponata from Catania, or even baroque caponata with chocolate.
Two seem to be the commonly accepted constants, eggplant and tomato, generally combined with pine nuts (or almonds) and fresh basil.
What I propose is the original recipe for Palermo caponata, with long eggplant and cherry tomatoes.
An easy recipe for summer appetizer and a typical Sicilian side dish, not forgetting the recipe for pasta with Sicilian caponata.
- 2 large eggplants, diced
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup green olives, pitted and halved
- 1/4 cup capers, rinsed
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil for fryingInstructions:
- Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the diced eggplants and fry until golden brown. Remove the eggplants from the pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, add a little more olive oil if needed and sauté the onions, celery, and red bell pepper until they are softened.
- Add the diced tomatoes, green olives, and capers to the pan. Stir well and let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes.
- In a small saucepan, combine the white wine vinegar and sugar. Heat over low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Pour this sweet and sour mixture into the pan with the vegetables.
- Add the fried eggplants back into the pan and stir gently to combine all the ingredients. Let the caponata simmer for another 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
- In a separate small pan, toast the pine nuts over medium heat until they are golden brown and fragrant.
- Once the caponata is done cooking, remove it from the heat and stir in the chopped basil and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Transfer the caponata to a serving dish and sprinkle the toasted pine nuts on top.
- Serve the Caponata Siciliana warm or at room temperature, and enjoy with your favorite bread or as a flavorful accompaniment to grilled fish or chicken.
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