Caponata alla Siciliana: aubergine and art to eat

The dish which is a source of proudness for Sicily is caponata siciliana, an aubergine-based recipe originally sicilian but then spread throughout the Italian Peninsula. Outside Sicily, nobody but a Sicilian can make a real caponata, though. This refreshing summer and vegetarian dish is ideal for stimulating  appetite on a very hot day!!! In Palermo the caponata can also include fish.
Ingredients are simpel to find in a street market:

  • 2 1/4 pounds aubergine
  • 1/2 pound green olives packed in brine, pitted
  • 6 ounces salted capers, rinsed
  • 1 1/4 pounds celery ribs
  • 2/3 pound onions
  • 2/3 pound tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Basil
  • 3/8 cup pine nuts
  • Olive oil and salt

How you can make it:

Strip the filaments from the celery sticks,  blanch them in lightly salted water. Then cut them into little pieces, sauté them in a little oil.

Wash and dice the aubergines,put the pieces in a strainer, sprinkle them  with salt, and let them sit for 12 hours to draw out the bitter juices. Then blanch, peel, seed and chop the tomatoes.

Once the aubergine has sat, rinse away the salt, slice the onion and sauté them in olive oil, adding the capers, the pine nuts, the olives, and the tomatoes. After 15 minutes,  remove the pot from the fire.

Heat a second pot of oil and fry the diced aubergine, return the tomato pot to the fire and stir in the fried aubergine, together with the celery. Cook over a low flame, stirring gently, then stir in the vinegar and the sugar until the vinegar evaporates. Let th caponata cool and serve it1  cold and  garnish with fresh basil.

The Capunata Palermitana chi Purpiceddi is with fish and you will had one pound baby octopus (or squid), cleaned, one cup flour and 2 artichokes.

Flour the celery sticks, the artichokes, the olives and the capers, and fry them. Fry the octopuss, add all to the tomato mixture, and finish cooking as above.


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