Sicilian caponata: proof that veggie dishes can have plenty of depth of flavour

Bonnie Stern | January 16, 2015 | Last Updated: Jan 16 3:52 PM ET

SICILIAN CAPONATA
This Sicilian cooked vegetable salad gets its flavour from the combination of vegetables and the sweet and sour mixture of sugar amd vinegar. We learned a version of this at Maria Grammatico’s La Scuola de Cucina in Trapani. Serve as a salad, a side dish or a sauce for pasta.

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Peter J. Thompson/National Post Sicilian caponata: proof that veggie dishes can have plenty of depth of flavour.

-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil or more
-2 lbs round Sicilian eggplants, or regular eggplants, cut into 1-inch cubes with skin
-4 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch slices
-16 cippoline onions, peeled and halved or quartered
-1 cup puréed San Marzano tomatoes (freeze the rest and use in soups or sauces)
-1/2 cup each black and green olives, pitted
-2 tbsp capers, rinsed
-2 tbsp red wine or sherry vinegar
-2 tbsp sugar
-kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
-1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1. Heat oil in a large deep skillet on medium-high. Add eggplant, in batches if necessary, and cook 10 to 15 minutes until browned. Remove eggplant to a large bowl. Add more oil to the pan if necessary.
2. Add celery to pan and cook 5 to 6 minutes until partially tender and golden brown. Add to the eggplant.
3. Add onions to pan and cook 10 to 15 minutes until tender and browned. Add celery and eggplant back to pan along with tomato purée, black and green olives and capers. Add 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Cook gently 10 minutes.
4. Bring vinegar and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir into vegetables. Cook a few minutes.
5. Add parsley and cool. Season to taste. Serve at room temperature.
Makes approximately 6 cups

(Source: http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/01/16/bonnie-stern-my-souvenirs-of-sicily-include-these-six-savoury-and-sweet-recipes-i-brought-home/)

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