Sicilian Eggplant aka Caponata

Sicilian Eggplant

Sicilian Eggplant

If you cannot travel to Sicily, bring the taste of Sicily to you with this Sicilian Eggplant recipe!

This regional Italian dish is a staple in Sicily. Sicilian Eggplant aka Caponata combines the best ingredients of Sicilian cuisine in one dish: eggplant, tomatoes, olives, garlic, olive oil, and capers.

My mom walked in when I made this Sicilian Eggplant last week, and she said she felt like she was in Italy just from smelling it! Italy has many tasty eggplant recipes, like eggplant parmigiana a famous food of Emilia-Romagna, but Caponata is my family’s favorite.

The most widely accepted story behind Sicilian Eggplant, or Caponata derives from the fish Capone. The traditional preparation for Capone used a tasty sweet and sour sauce.

Over time, the fish became prohibitively expensive and people began to replace it with eggplant.

Today, many versions of Caponata exist with different eggplant varieties, and adding ingredients from potatoes to octopus. This Sicilian eggplant is closer to a traditional Caponata recipe, and is perfect on bread as an Italian eggplant appetizer, or on an Italian sandwich, or as a sauce for chicken or fish.

So whether you want to be transported to Italy in your home kitchen, or you’ve just finished touring Palermo or hiking around Sicily, Caponata makes a delicious, healthy snack!

Sicilian Eggplant Recipe

Servings: 8

2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 large eggplant, diced, salted, drained, rinsed
1/2 cup red onions, diced small
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
¼ cup black olives
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon basil or parsley, chopped

1. Heat up garlic and olive oil in a large sauté pan on medium heat. When you can smell the garlic, add the eggplant. Stir to coat the eggplant. Cover and stir intermittently until eggplant starts to soften.
2. At that time, stir in the red onions.
3. Stir the sugar and the balsamic vinegar into the tomatoes, then add the mixture to the pan with the sautéed eggplant.
4. Stir in the olives and capers.
5. Cover and stir intermittently until the eggplant is cooked through.
6. Remove from heat, and garnish with parsley.
7. Serve Sicilian Eggplant hot if for a sauce. Or if used as Caponata, or an appetizer. It is best at room temperature.

1. To remove the bitterness from eggplant, dice it, sprinkle with salt, and let drain in a colander in the sink or into a bowl for at least 30 minutes. Then rinse well. For this Sicilian Eggplant recipe or other sautéed eggplant recipes, it is not necessary to pat it dry. However, for roasted eggplant, or grilled eggplant recipes, it is best to pat the eggplant dry.
2. Use a high-quality balsamic vinegar for this recipe.

More ways to serve Sicilian Eggplant
Serve it as a side to Greek Meat Pie
Put it in a small bowl on a Cheese Board

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