The eggplant caponata is one of the most famous Sicilian recipes!
It's a typical summer dish but, now that you can find the eggplant all year, you can enjoy it forever.
The origins of caponata are not certain but it was already a popular dish in 1700.
Someone think that the name derives from the Latin word "cauponae", as served in the Roman taverns, others from "capon", cookie of the Spanish sailors.
But it seems that instead comes from "capone" quality the blue fish also known as dolphin fish, served in the tables of the rich and was replaced by the people, who could not afford it, with the cheapest eggplant.
In Sicily, caponata, exists in many variants that provide for the use of the pepper, potato or zucchini, but we report the traditional recipe:
Ingredients for 8 people
- 6 large eggplants (about 1 kg)
- 5 celery stalks
- 300 g green olives
- 400 ml tomato puree
- 3 tablespoons salted capers
- 1 large onion
- 6 tablespoons white vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- peanut oil q.b.
Cut the eggplants great touch, put them in a colander covered sprinkled with few salt and leave to drain for a couple of hours to remove the bitterness.
Shake to remove excess salt, fry in hot oil and then keep them aside.
Fry the onion gently in a saucepan and add thinly sliced olives and chopped celery, capers rinsed salt and tomato puree.
Cook for 10 minutes with the addition of a glass of hot water.
When the sauce is thickened, add the vinegar ,the sugar and mix.
Taste the bittersweet when the vinegar has evaporated and fix it to your liking.
Finally add the eggplant and stir gently to mix well.
Let cool and refrigerate. Serve cold!
To give a special touch, sprinkle with flaked almonds caponata, preferably toasted and chopped pistachios.
To have it ready and be able to enjoy at any time, you can store in sterilized glass jars.