Caponata is an Italian dish made out of different vegetables cooked in vinegar and tomatoes. The base recipe calls for eggplants and celery but regional variations do exists where other vegetables are added like olives, carrots, zucchini, bell peppers, pine nuts and raisins. If you notice it’s a totally vegetable viand but versions in Palerm and Sicily adds seafood like lobsters, octopus and swordfish.
During the old days this type of dish was consumed as a main course but with today’s improvements it is now commonly served as a side dish paired with fish. In my opinion it still can be a main dish as this is so hearty, all you need is a crusty piece of bread and you have a nice dinner. Definitely this will come easily on the top of my favourite vegetable dishes so I suggest you try them out.
- 2 medium sized aubergines, cut into large chunks
- 2 zucchini / courgettes, sliced
- 1 large yellow capsicum, sliced
- 2 tbsp capers, drained
- 1 dozen olives, pitted
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 400g can chopped tomato
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- handful of basil leaves chopped
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- olive oil
- sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- chopped parsley, to garnish
- Lightly season eggplants with salt, set aside.
- In a large pan heat olive oil then pan fry aubergines until they are turn golden on each side. Remove the aubergines from the pan then set aside.
- Add additional olive oil to the pan then sauté garlic, onion and celery.
- Add the oregano, basil, red wine vinegar, capers, olives and chopped tomato bring to a boil then add fried aubergines, capsicum, and zucchini and simmer for 15 minutes in low heat. You might need to add a bit of water if it dries out while simmering.
- Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper then garnish with chopped parsley.