There caponata it is a real specialty of the Sicilian gastronomic tradition. A vegetable garnish which can also be served as an appetizer and which we present in this one family recipe: it is therefore not original, also because as for many typical recipes there is no codified version, but it is dishes handed down from generation to generation.
Without a doubt, in one classic caponata can not miss the aubergines, strictly fried and must be characterized by a strong bittersweet note: for this reason the best thing is to prepare this dish the day before, so as to make it flavor well. Here bittersweet is given by a particular mix of Zagara honey (a citrus honey), white wine vinegar and bitter cocoa as well as raisins soaked in Marsala.
To discover all the tricks of preparation of this caponata, follow our steps and deepen in the article All the secrets to make a perfect caponata. A similar but simpler recipe is the aubergine and pepper caponata.
OTHER TASTY RECIPES: Pasta salad with vegetable caponata, Fusilli with eggplant caponata
How to prepare: Caponata
To prepare the caponata, first soak the capers in water for 10-10 minutes and raisins in Marsala for 30 minutes. Then cut the aubergines and slices, sprinkle them with salt and let them rest for 30 minutes, so that they lose excess water. Once the time has passed, dab and cut them into cubes.
Peel and chop the onion. Cut the celery stalk into chunks and into strips and then the pepper into squares.
At this point, dedicate yourself to frying the peppers and aubergines, to be done separately. In a pan pour three tablespoons of oil and add the peppers, let them go for about 10 minutes. Remove them from the pan and place them on absorbent paper to remove excess oil. In the same pan, fry the aubergines, a few at a time, making sure that the heat is high and turning them a little, in order to form a crispy crust. Transfer them gradually onto a sheet of absorbent paper.
At this point proceed with the sautéed celery and onion, pouring some oil into the pan and then adding the two vegetables. Let go and two minutes before they are fried add the pine nuts. Stir, so as to toast the pine nuts and then add the desalted capers, well squeezed raisins and olives. Turn off the heat.
At this point add the tomatoes, peppers and aubergines. Stir, season with salt and cook.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine: 3 or 4 tablespoons of white wine vinegar, one of Zagara honey and one or two of bitter cocoa, stirring to melt the honey. Pour the mixture into the pan with the vegetables, turn on the heat and cook for 3/4 minutes, just enough time for the vinegar to evaporate.
Transfer it to a large bowl, perhaps the one you will bring to the table and add a few chopped basil leaves to taste. You can also complete with a sprinkling of chopped almonds or grated dark chocolate. Let the caponata rest for a few hours, or better yet serve it the next day.