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CaponataCaponata: Caponata (Sicilian: capunata) is a Sicilian aubergine (eggplant) dish consisting of a cooked vegetable salad made from chopped fried eggplant and celery seasoned with sweetened vinegar, with capers in a sweet and sour sauce. Numerous local variations of the ingredients exist with some versions adding olives, carrots and green bell peppers, and others adding potatoes, or pine nuts and raisins.Caponata is typically used as a side dish for fish dishes and sometimes as an appetizer.

Ingredients for Caponata

(serves 4):

  • 4 medium aubergines (eggplant), chopped
  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, chopped
  • 400gms chopped tomatoes
  • 100 gms green olives, pitted
  • 3 tbsp capers, drained and chopped
  • 30ml red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp sugar, or to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Method for Caponata:

  • Sprinkle the chopped aubergines with salt.
  • Leave the chopped aubergines to drain in a colander for 30 minutes.
  • Heat some of the olive oil in a saucepan.
  • Brown the aubergine on a moderate heat for 10 minutes.
  • Set aside.
  • Allow the cooked aubergine to cool to room temperature.
  • In a separate saucepan, heat the remaining olive oil.
  • Sauté the chopped onion and celery for 2 minutes or till the onions become translucent.
  • Add in the chopped tomatoes.
  • Season the onion-celery-tomato mixture with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Add the olives and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Add the cooled aubergine along with the capers.
  • In a separate bowl, mix together the red wine vinegar and sugar.
  • Add this to the pan and cook for 10 minutes or till the red wine vinegar has been absorbed.
  • Caponata is ready to be served.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
  • Serve hot or cold.

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