Any restaurant, any home, any place in Palermo will have a Sicilian Caponata recipe at hand with delightful combinations to enjoy this dish in so many ways.
There are so many variations on Sicilian Caponata and believe me they do differ. I have had all sorts of combinations, artichoke, apple and pumpkin, swordfish, potato and capsicum. It goes well with just about anything and you can eat it hot, cold or at room temperature.
The caponata is best served after being left for a few hours so that the flavours can all come together. It is often made the day before.
Makes about 1kg but will keep for 2 weeks in the fridge and months in the pantry if bottled when hot.
Sicilian Caponata Ingredients
• 2 white onions, sliced thinly
• 400g celery stalks, sliced
• 700g eggplant diced into 2 cm cubes and salted
• 1 ½ cups of tomato paste
• 100g capers, rinsed
• 200g green olives, deseeded
• 30g sugar
• 4 tbsps. white wine vinegar
• 10 basil leaves
Place the sliced onions into a large deep fry pan and cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer until softened.
Meanwhile bring a small pot of water to the boil and boil the celery for 3 minutes until al dente, drain and refresh in cold water. Drain and set aside.
Dry the diced eggplant on some paper towel. Heat a pot or fry pan with sunflower oil or vegetable oil and fry the cubes of eggplant until really golden brown, drain them well on paper towel.
Once the water has been reduced by 1/3 from the onions, add in the tomato paste and stir and cook for another 10 minutes until thickened.
Add in the boiled celery, the capers, olives and the sugar and the vinegar, basil and season with salt.
Pour the mixture into a large serving dish and top with the eggplant. Allow the mix to cool completely and then gently mix in the eggplant.