• Brittany Aldridge

Easy Sicilian Caponata

Updated: May 24, 2020

Okay so is there a jar of capers sitting at the back of your fridge because you bought them for that one recipe a month ago and haven’t used them since? Or maybe you’re a caper regular? Either way, this recipe uses capers and eggplants in the most delicious way - braised in a rich tomato-y sauce and then smothered on crusty bread. Read ahead for my take on the classic Sicilian Caponata.



INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 1 carrot, chopped

  • 1 celery stalk, chopped

  • 2 large eggplants

  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 roasted red peppers in oil

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced

  • 1 teaspoon of salt, or to taste

  • 2 tablespoons of capers

  • freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

  • 1 can of whole peeled tomatoes

  • 1/2 cup of water

  • 2 teaspoons of dried oregano

  • 1 fresh thyme sprig

  • ½ cup of thinly shaved Parmesan, to serve


INSTRUCTIONS


  • Put eggplants on a chopping board, cut lengthways and then chop into cubes. salt the eggplant generously and set aside.

  • In a large saucepan or shallow Dutch oven, on medium heat, add the olive oil, oregano, chilli flakes, onion, carrot, celery and garlic; and cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are soft, around 7 minutes.

  • While the eggplant was resting it should have accumulated a little moisture from the salt. Pat the eggplant with a paper towel (or clean tea towel) and then add it to the pan. Sprinkle salt and cracked pepper, then cook for another 2 minutes.

  • Next, add the canned beans and tomatoes, capers, red peppers, cup of water, as well as the spring of thyme. Cover the pan with its lid and simmer on a low heat, stirring occasionally for around 30-40 minutes.

  • To serve, toast some bread (sourdough or ciabatta works well, but preferably something crusty), and spoon large dollops of the caponata on top of the toast. Sprinkle with the shaved Parmesan and enjoy!

Notes:

  • To serve at a dinner party: You can make this up to 3 days ahead, it’s fantastic warm or cold, just put the caponata in a serving bowl and beside a board filled with chopped crusty bread or crackers.

  • To make this more like a soup, at the 4th step cook the caponata for only 20-30 minutes or the consistency you would like. Serve in soup bowls and bread on the side.

  • Next, add the canned beans and tomatoes, capers, red peppers, cup of water, as well as the spring of thyme. Cover the pan with its lid and simmer on a low heat, stirring occasionally for around 30-40 minutes.

  • To serve, toast some bread (sourdough or ciabatta works well, but preferably something crusty), and spoon large dollops of the caponata on top of the toast. Sprinkle with the shaved Parmesan and enjoy!



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