Oh boy! I could not wait to make this Eggplant Caponata during our Cooking with Nonna Anna day! Anything with an eggplant, I can't turn down. As an appetizer, or even a side dish, count me in...please!
Eggplant Caponata is a Sicilian dish that is a delicious medley of vegetables. Simple ingredients, all easy to come by; spiked with the tartness of capers and olives. This would also be amazing at a brunch buffet!
Make it the day of or the night before, because when sealed up in a container, and placed in the refrigerator, the caponata only gets better. This might just be one of your next go to recipes...easy, healthy and delicious!
- 1 pound eggplant, peeled
- olive oil
- 2 red bell peppers, seeded, ribs removed, and cut in 2/3-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, divided-1/4 finely chopped, 3/4 cut into 2/3-inch pieces
- 2 tender celery stalks, leaves included, finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon capers, rinsed well and drained
- 6 pitted green olives, cut into a few pieces
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon sugar
- 6 medium canned peeled tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 Tablespoons pignolis (pine nuts), lightly toasted
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
- Cut eggplant into 3/4-inch cubes.
- Deep fry the eggplant in 2/3-inch layer of oil, over high heat, until dark gold. With a slotted spoon, remove eggplant cubes from pan, drain on paper towels and set aside.
- Transfer 3 Tablespoons of the frying oil to a large skillet. Set aside the remaining oil.
- Heat the oil then add peppers, large pieces of onion and celery.
- Cook over moderate heat, stirring, for a couple of minutes.
- Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 8 minutes.
- Uncover, increase heat to high and cook, stirring, until vegetables start browning.
- Add capers, olives, vinegar and sugar; then turn off heat.
- Add eggplant and mix very gently.
- Heat 2 Tablespoons of the oil used to cook the eggplant in a small pan and sauté the finely chopped onion. Add the tomatoes.
- Cook over high heat until they sizzle.
- Stir in salt and add to the vegetable mixture.
- Add pine nuts to the mixture.
- Stir gently until all the pieces are evenly distributed.
- Put into your favorite serving bowl and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
- Serve at room temperature.
Gr8 Serving Ideas:
- Serve on sliced baguette that has been brushed with extra-virgin olive oil and lightly toasted in the oven.
- Or serve with crackers or fresh celery for dipping.
Gr8 Do-Ahead Appetizer:Make this dish in the morning and refrigerate. Be sure to remove from the refrigerator at least 1 1/2 hours before serving so it can come to room temperature.
Last published on April 24, 2016.