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The caponata is a traditional Sicilian side dish made with eggplants, celery, tomatoes, onions, capers, olives and basil, with a distinctive sweet and sour flavor… you can’t miss it! Find this and many more recipes with pictures on the Giallozafferano App (in English)
Today I’ll give you 3 clues to guess what recipe we’ll be making: it’s a Sicilian dish, eggplant is the main ingredient and it’s one of inspector Montalbano’s favourites. Now, have you guessed? It’s the caponata! Let’s see together what ingredients we’ll need to make it:
• 2,2 lbs (1 kg) of eggplants
• 3 tbsp of capers, rinsed and drained
• 1 lb (500 g) of vine tomatoes
• 2 onions
• about ½ cup (60 g) of pine nuts
• ¼ cup (50 g) of white sugar • 7 oz (200 g) of green pitted olives
• 1,3 lbs (600 g) of celery stalks
• a few basil leaves
• coarse salt / extra virgin olive oil
• just under ½ cup (100 ml) of red wine vinegar
Let’s prepare together the caponata:
The caponata is a traditional side dish of Sicily which varies from town to town, for example there are those who add bell peppers, raisins or change the proportions of the ingredients. This is our version. Begin by cutting off the ends of the eggplants, wash and cut into cubes, quite large as you can see, put them in a colander and sprinkle with coarse salt. Cover with a plate, place the colander in a bowl, since the eggplants will release their bitter juice… and put a weight on top to press it down. Let them stay for at least an hour, 2 is better.
While the eggplants are draining, wash the celery stalks, remove the leaves as well as any tough strings and cut into small pieces. Then blanch in salted water for a couple of minutes, and drain.
Let the celery cool a bit, pat it dry with kitchen paper, then pan-fry in olive oil… keep the flame low. Meanwhile, move on to the onions, cut into pieces, not too thin… then peel the tomatoes and cut into cubes.
After frying the celery, place it in a sieve to drain the excess oil, to make the recipe a bit lighter. In another pan, put the extra virgin olive oil and the onion… and sauté on a low flame for at least 15 minutes, then add… the capers, the pine nuts and the olives.
Now it’s time to add the tomatoes: I can tell you that a common variant substitutes green olives for black olives, that are equally good. After adding the tomatoes, cook on a high flame for at least 20 minutes.
Wash the eggplants, pat them dry with a clean cloth and fry them, too… perhaps add half at a time to the pan, since it’s a large amount.
When the eggplants are fried, combine all the ingredients… the celery… stir a bit… to blend everything… then raise the heat and add the sugar, which has been dissolved in about ½ cup of vinegar… and cook until the sharp smell of vinegar disappears.
Now we just have to roughly chop the basil leaves over the caponata and let it rest for an hour before serving, so the flavours blend together! From Sonia and Giallozafferano, bye bye and see you next video recipe.