Eggplant Caponata

Caponata is a popular Sicilian dish featuring eggplant as one of its main ingredients. It’s a sweet and sour flavor dish enjoyed by many.

Eggplant gets used in many cuisines, and one of the most popular dishes an eggplant gets used for is in Caponata.

Caponata is a Sicilian recipe with chopped fried eggplant, vegetables, olive oil, tomato sauce, celery, olives, and capers. Depending on the cuisine and cooking methods, an Agrodolce sauce, also known as a sweet and sour sauce, is used to mix the ingredients.

Most often, Caponata gets served at room temperature or slightly chilled. It’s an impressive appetizer. Serve aside with green and black olives and appetizer toasts.

Caponata is a versatile dish you can customize by adjusting ingredients and seasonings.

Instructions to prepare Caponata dish:

  • Cube an eggplant and fry in a generous amount of olive oil over medium-high heat until tender golden brown.
  • Chop onion, garlic, bell pepper, and celery. Sauté in the same skillet until soft.
  • Add the diced tomatoes (with their juices) and simmer for a few minutes.
  • Stir in the red wine vinegar and sugar. The combination creates a sweet and sour flavor.
  • Add the fried eggplant, and add the sliced olives and capers. Gently mix ingredients and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Let cool and garnish with fresh basil leaves if desired.

The skin of an eggplant should be smooth. When choosing a fresh eggplant, check for bruising and brown spots, and pick one with a green stem. Press an eggplant with your thumb to see if it leaves an indentation. If it does, the eggplant is ripe.

The preferable way to store an eggplant is at room temperature. Keep away from melons, bananas, and other ethylene producers. Store in a cool pantry or cellar with temperatures between 50-55˚F to keep out of direct sunlight.

Image by Republica from Pixabay

A picture of a ripe eggplant.
Eggplant Flowering Plant

Image by Eric Michelat from Pixabay

Does eggplant count as a vegetable?

Eggplants, also known as aubergines, belong to the nightshade family of plants. Eggplant is technically a fruit. They grow from a flowering plant and contain seeds.

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