Sicilian Style Caponata

caponata

Caponata is a Sicilian eggplant dish consisting of chopped cooked vegetables, capers and olives, often served with seafood. The original recipe calls for vinegar and fried eggplants but I prefer the more simple version. There are many ways to prepare caponata and it can be served in a variety of dishes, such as a simple side dish, a topping for crostinis, on cous cous or as a pasta sauce, or you may add fish/beef to make it a hearty main course.

Ingredients

  • 2 Chopped medium Eggplants
  • 1 Chopped zucchini
  • 2 Chopped bell peppers (1 red one yellow)
  • 1 Chopped onion
  • 1/2 Bunch of basil leaves chopped (some leaves for decoration)
  • 1/4 Cup of capers
  • 1/4 Cup of roasted pine nuts
  • 1/4 Cup of Olives in Oil (preferably Taggiasche olives)
  • 1- 1 1/2 cans of crushed San Marzano Tomatoes
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 Pinch of chilli flakes (or more depending how spicy you like your finial dish to be)

Preparation

  • Cut all vegetables in roughly the same size cubes (size depends on personal preference and later mode of use i.e. as a crostini topping I’d suggest a small dice, while you might want to chop your veggies larger when serving on cous cous)
  • In a large pot heat a little extra virgin Olive oil and sauté the the eggplants for ca. 5 minutes
  • Add all remaining chopped vegetables and sauté for ca 10 minutes
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and chilli flakes and simmer for ca. 30 to 45 minutes you want all flavors to mix well
  • Add capers, roasted pine nuts and olives toward the end (but make sure you cook them for ca. 10 minutes)
  • Add Salt and pepper to taste
  • Add chopped basil leaves once you have removed the dish from the heat (you do not want to “cook” the basil)

Presentation

  • Once the caponata is ready place it in the appropriate dish garnish with an extra basil leave and drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil