Caponata

By • June 19, 2011 • 22 Comments



Author Notes: Caponata is a Sicilian side dish I guess if you had to liken it to any dish it would be Ratatouille. This was a staple in my family at least once a week. It is a combination of cooked vegetables, eggplant is the star and of course like many italian dishes there is a tomato base. I thought this would be a wonderful addition to a picnic basket, it stays good for hours without refrigeration can withstand a bit of sun, it actually improves with time. Its best to make this a day or two ahead of when you plan on serving. Serve cold or room temperature with crusty bread, some nice hard cheese and wine. This is my interpretation of the recipe my family used with a little help from a recipe I found in NYT.sdebrango

Serves 4-6

  • 4 Italian eggplant washed and cut in half lengthwise. Skin on.
  • 1 Medium size onion chopped
  • 2 Stalks celery (Use the tender inner stalks) chopped
  • 3 Cloves garlic minced
  • 4 Peppadew peppers chopped (If you do not have these use more of the red bell pepper)
  • 1/2 Red bell pepper chopped
  • 4 Fresh tomato's peeled and seeds removed, or 1cup canned crushed tomato
  • 3 tablespoons Capers rinsed
  • 1/4 cup Olives Kalamata or green (I use a little of each) Rough chop the olives
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar (add 1 tsp taste and add another if needed)
  • 3 tablespoons Red Wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper (optional)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 450, clean the eggplant cut the tops off and cut in half lengthwise. On baking sheet lined with aluminum foil brush a little olive oil place your eggplant cut side down and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Chop the eggplant into bite size pieces.
  2. In fry pan on med/high flame coated with olive oil add your chopped onion, cook until translucent. Add chopped celery and red bell pepper, continue cooking until they are soft and have started to caramelize. Add your minced garlic, cook for a minute or so don't let garlic brown. Add your eggplant,tomato,peppadew, capers, olives,crushed red pepper, sugar and vinegar continue cooking until mixture is thick. Eggplant will break down but thats ok this will take about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Let sit overnight. It tastes incredible when it has rested and all the flavors have blended together.

Tags: eggplant, Side Dishes

Comments (22) Questions (0)

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Dscn2212

over 1 year ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You're taking me back to Italy! We bought and consumed many jars of caponata for picnic lunches with some fresh bread and bright fruit.

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over 1 year ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you B, it also brings me back to my childhood, it was a staple in my family and I love it. Yes with fresh bread, fruit and some wine. A really delicious meal.

Stringio

almost 2 years ago aran.connolly

finish htis with a whisper of cocoa powder the astringency adds a beautifal kick

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almost 2 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I never would have thought to add cocoa powder, I will try that. Thank you!

Sausage2

about 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Yum! I adore caponata! My mind was blown the first time I had it at a friend's house, and I've been addicted ever since.

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about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you fiveandspice, it brings back so many memories of my family and the recipe can be so varied everyone can add their own flavor.

Ozoz_profile

about 3 years ago Kitchen Butterfly

Love, love, love Caponata. Right now I'm an aubergine fiend - just finished a bowl of Parmigiana. Love this

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about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you kitchen butterfly, I too LOVE aubergine. Anyway shape or form they are so good!

Dscn3274

about 3 years ago inpatskitchen

Lovely take on one of my favorites!

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about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you, it was one of mine also, one I had all but forgotten about.

Scan0004

about 3 years ago susan g

Lucky you to grow up with caponata We love it, and my husband was so taken with it that it became his specialty. He's varied the ingredients with the season, and I loved it with potatoes, even sweet potatoes. I have to steer him away from more sugar, so I like seeing that you only use enought sugar to balance the flavor.

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about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I have never tried with potato or sweet potato that would be so good, I've used zuccini before and other seasonal vegetables. The batch I made today I only used 1/2 tsp sugar. The peppadew are sweet and my tomato jam is also sweet so I needed very little. Some caponata has been almost like a dessert it was so sweet. Thank you so much.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Wow, never thought of using sweet potatoes or white potatoes. When you use whites, are they the thin-skinned waxy type, like fingerlings, or reds?

Scan0004

about 3 years ago susan g

For the potatoes, any of those, boulangere -- anything you might use in stew-y things. They pick up all the flavors beautifully. We've got to try it with the peppadew. Now that will lift the spirits!

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

All new ideas. I tend think narrowly of ratatouille, which is pretty darn proscribed. Thank you both for the all new flavor profiles.

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about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

The peppadew add a really tangy flavor that I really like. Its just as good with red bell pepper but the pickled peppadew really brought a different taste that I liked a lot. I must try with potato that sounds wonderful. The sweet and sour flavors are so nice.

Dscn2212

about 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

You are so clever - I'd never thought of caponata (ratatouille) as picnic fare. It's perfect, and you are so on a roll with all your lovely Mediterranean creations.

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about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you, I had not had caponata in many years and I thought of it last night. Its perfect picnic food and reallly for any occasion. Love Mediterranean food its what I grew up eating.

Dsc_0675-x2a

about 3 years ago Sagegreen

This looks great; love your photo!

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about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you. I love this contest I think I need a picnic.

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about 3 years ago sdebrango

Suzanne is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Thank you, yes it does. Every region has there own take on it, some put anchovies, some like it spicier. Anyone can make their own way adding whatever they like. Takes me back in time. I haven't made this for a very long time.

Me

about 3 years ago wssmom

Just reading this makes me think of Mediterranean summers!