Sicilian vegetable stew

Sicilian vegetable stew

Caponata Siciliana

By
From
Simple Cooking
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Alastair Hendy

Versatile, delicious and easy to make, caponata is probably Sicily’s best-known dish. Throughout the centuries Sicily has been invaded and colonised by many other nations and many Sicilian recipes show influences from other cuisines. Here you will see that there are some hints of the French ratatouille, while the inclusion of raisins and pine kernels suggests some Arabic influences too.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
800g aubergine
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 ripe tomatoes, cut into chunky cubes
1 tablespoon tomato puree, diluted with a little water
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon salted capers, soaked, (see note)
20 green pitted olives
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 head celery, chopped
1 tablespoon raisins
salt
1 tablespoon pine kernels, (optional)
pepper

Method

  1. Cut the aubergine into 3 cm chunks, soak in cold water for 5 minutes, then drain. This will stop the aubergine from absorbing too much oil.
  2. Fry the onion in the olive oil in a large pan for a few minutes to soften. Put the aubergine chunks into the pan and fry until soft and tender, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, diluted tomato purée, sugar, capers, olives, vinegar, celery leaves and stalks, raisins and some salt and pepper and stew slowly until everything is melted together, about 30 minutes.
  3. Stir in the pine kernels, if desired, and serve either cold or warm as a side dish, or by itself with bread.

Note

  • Salted capers are much better than vinegared ones (which never quite lose that vinegar flavour), but they have to be de-salted. Soak in cold water for about 15 minutes, spoon away any remaining salt and dry well.
Tags:
Simple Cooking
Antonio
Carluccio
Carlucio
simple
easy
fast
quick
weeknight
midweek
mid-week
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