Sicilian Caponata is a real south Italian classic! Showcasing some of the best local ingredients; aubergines (eggplant), capers and basil.
Like most Italian dishes, there are many different versions depending on the area where is prepared. Some may include olives, others will add almonds or emit sultana and pine nuts. Obviously, most Italians thinks that their nonna made the best!
I have perfected this Italian Classic, over the years to come out with delicious, easy to make recipe for Sicilian Caponata. Make this super delicious recipe in 30 minutes!
What is the difference between Ratatouille and Caponata?
Ratatouille is a French dish, made with courgettes, peppers, carrots, onions stewed with tomato sauce, with a delicate flavour.
Whilst, Sicilian Caponata has robust and punchy flavour, showcasing aubergines (eggplant) as main ingredient.
How long can you keep Sicilian Caponata for?
Caponata can be stored in an airtight container for 5 days in a refrigerator. This is because the acidity of the vinegar and the sugar are prolonging the shelf life.
Check out my article about the Mediterranean Diet which will help you keep a healthy lifestyle for you and the whole family!
How do I eat Sicilian Caponata?
Caponata is a very versatile dish, serve it as a side for fish and meats. Perhaps as a starter with a slice of toasted ciabatta, as a bruschetta or crostini. Caponata can be served hot or room temperature.
Personally, I would start with a lovely Sidecar Martini and couple of crostini with Caponata! Followed with creamy mushroom risotto with a lovely bottle of Nebbiolo from Piedmont! Finally to finish a perfect meal, I would have a very light Nutella and Ricotta mousse with a little cup of espresso! I call this perfection, let me know in the comments below your perfect dinner menu!
Is aubergines (eggplant) a super-food?
Aubergines (eggplant) is low in sodium and calories. Also packed with antioxidants and minerals, great source of potassium, B vitamins and fibre. I am not sure if it makes it a super-food but is pretty good for you!
Lets make Sicilian Caponata!
1. Start by partially pealing the aubergines (eggplant) using a potato peeler. This will speed up the cooking process but retaining the shape and texture. Then cut into cubes of roughly 2 cm.
2. Pour the oil in a frying pan or skillet. Then heat it up and carefully place the cubed aubergines inside. Season slightly with salt and cook steering occasionally for about 10 minutes.
3. By now the aubergines should start to soften and colour, add the chopped onions and cook for a further 5 minutes.
4. Follow up by adding the sliced celery, capers, sultana and pine nuts and cook for a further 5 minutes.
5. Then, add the tomato paste and sugar, steer well.
6. Lastly, pour the vinegar, let it cook for one more minute, before removing from the heat.
7. Finish with the fresh basil leaves, adjust the seasoning and serve. You can also let it cool and store in an airtight container.
- 500 g Aubergines eggplant
- 100 g Celery
- 50 g Red onion
- 30 ml Olive oil
- 25 ml White vinegar
- 20 g Sultanas
- 20 g Pine nuts
- 20 g Tomato paste
- 10 g Capers
- 10 g Sugar
- 5 g Basil leaves
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Partially peal the aubergines (eggplant) using a potato peeler, leaving some of the skin on. This will speed up the cooking process but retaining the shape and texture. Then cut into cubes of roughly 2 cm.
- Pour the oil in a frying pan (skillet), heat it up and carefully place the cubed aubergines inside. Season slightly with salt. Cook steering occasionally for 10 minutes.
- By now the aubergines should start to soften and colour, add the chopped onions and cook for a further 5 minutes.
- Add the sliced celery, capers, sultana and pine nuts and cook for a further 5 minutes
- Add the tomato paste and sugar, steer well, then pour the vinegar, live to cook for one more minute, before removing from the heat.
- Finish with the fresh basil leaves, adjust the seasoning and serve or let it cool and store in an airtight container.
HINT AND TIPS:Always opt for smaller aubergines, because they are less spongy and therefore will absorb less oil. I like to use apple vinegar for this recipe, it seams to work better then wine vinegar. Allergens: SULPHITES, NUTS, CELERY suitable for vegetarian and vegan. Sicilian Caponata is an awesome side dish, so versatile tasty and so simple to make.
It holds a punch of flavour and is robust enough to be served as a vegetable stew with rice, or as a side for roasted chicken lamb and fish.
Sicilian Caponata is an awesome dish, so versatile tasty and so simple to make.
It holds a punch of flavour and is robust enough to be served as a vegetable stew with rice. Serve it as side dish for lunch along with fritatta or my awesome pasta salad. You must try it with swordfish involtini, another fantastic Sicilian dish!
Why not serve it as a bruschetta, perhaps making a selection of Caponata and Peperonata crostini?!
Comment in the comments below and let me know how did you get on and if you have any questions. I would be more than happy to help.
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