Caponata is a Sicilian eggplant dish cooked with the star ingredient :eggplant” and peppers,tomato and seasoned with capers in a sour-sweet sauce.This is what i found out when i searched the web as soon as Alessio Fangano suggested this as the challenge for September 2010-The four velveteers.
When i announced very proudly that i would cook caponata for my husband(secretly praying that he would praise me for trying out some unknown dish), his reaction was “OH! I AM TRAVELLING- SO GOODLUCK WITH YOUR TRIALS”. Well well! i guess he wanted to escape my innumerable kitchen trials and disasters, but guess what??????????HE MISSED THIS:-)
Now to the recipe
There are many variations of this vegetarian dish and with the limited supplies that i can get here, i tried out this and am very happy with the outcome.This surely is a keeper
Medium sized eggplant 2 (cut into even small cubes)
Green bell pepper 1
Red bell pepper 1
Yellow bell pepper 1
Garlic 3 pods
Raisins 1/4 cup
Capers 2 tbsp
Fresh basil 2 tbsp
Pine nuts 1 tbsp
Brown sugar 1 tbsp
Olive oil 2 tbsp
Dice the eggplant into small even cubes. Add a little salt and keep it aside.After 10 minutes , dry them on a kitchen towel and shallow fry them and keep it aside.
Cut the onions finely and the bell peppers too. Scoop out the seeds from tomato and dice as well.
In a pan add 2 tbsp of olive oil , heat it over medium flame and saute the onions.When they turn translucent add the minced garlic , saute it further for a minute till a good flavor emanates.
Now add the cut peppers and saute till they change the colour and finely add the tomato with the brown sugar and salt
When the tomatoes are well cooked add the fried eggplants with the raisins and cook for another 5 minutes.
switch off the fire and add the capers and Basil
I have not used vinegar since the tomatoes already made it quite tangy
A very simple dish to cook and very tasty too.Tastes very good when served on warm crostini or bread.When you bite into it, there is an explosion of flavors of garlic, basil, pine and you can feel the different texture too. Lovely dish.Thank you Alessio for choosing such a beautiful vegetarian dish
Joining groups like THE 4 VELVETEERS definetely pushes you to try and cook many dishes which we wouldn’t venture into otherwise.The 4 velveteers is the brain child of Aparna Alessio, Asha and Pamela who are passionate about different cuisines and food in general. Each month, we will attempt a new dish and share our experiences and the recipes we used. If you’re interested in joining the Velveteers, please feel free to drop by our Google group
Do check out what the other velveteers have created with eggplant
Shall update as and when they post on their blogs