After interviewing Melissa and learning more about the restaurants and our Sicilian-inspired cuisine, Mike demonstrated how to make eggplant caponata. Here below is Melissa’s recipe for this summertime favorite.
Sicilian Eggplant Caponata Ingredients:
- Olive Oil
- 2 Medium-sized Eggplants, diced into 1 inch cubes
- 1 Zucchini, diced into 1 inch cubes
- 2 Peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 Large Onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3 Celery Pieces, cut on a bias into 1 inch pieces
- 1/4 Cup White Wine Vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons Sugar
- 1/4 Cup Pine-nuts, Toasted
- 1/2 Cup Golden Raisins
- 1 1/2 Cups Tomato Sauce
- Salt to Taste
Steps: Heat the frying oil in a sauté pan and sauté the eggplants until they are golden brown. Let the eggplants drain on paper towels. Then, sauté the squash, peppers, and onion separately. It is best to cook all the vegetables separately because they have different cooking times. Meanwhile in a sauce pan, bring the celery, vinegar, and sugar to a bowl. Remove the mixture from the heat when the celery pieces are still crunchy. In a large sauté pan, place the cooked eggplants, squash, peppers, onion, and the celery. Also, add the pine nuts and raisins. Turn on the heat and let the mixture cook together for about 5 minutes over a medium flame. When well heated, add the tomato sauce and cook for another 5 minutes. Then, slowly add the vinegar/sugar mixture. Do not add the liquid all at once, but rather taste for the desired flavor. The caponata should be delicately sweet and sour, but you should still taste the flavor of the vegetables, raisins and pine-nuts. Serve warm or at room temperature as a side dish or with bread for an antipasto. —- Melissa added that she also makes a winter version of caponata with cauliflower, butternut squash, root vegetables (parsnip & celeriac work nicely), raisins, pine nuts, and agrodolce (she recommends a caramelized vinegar & honey).