In the piazza outside the cathedral in Siracusa, one of the little trattorie made a nifty Caponata. It was always a pleasant way to spend an hour or so, on a Sunday after Mass watching the crowd come out of the cathedral and noisily settling down to a family lunch. The Autumn sunshine was always just right and the street musicians were top class.
The Caponata was top class too.
Now we come to the Caponata itself. Another eggplant recipe. No, I should call it by its proper name, melenzane.
You can pile caponata on top of fresh crusty bread for a perfect lunch. Use more liquid and pour it as a sauce over pasta for a hearty vegetarian dinner, or on its own in a bowl with bread to dip on the side.
Caponata is somewhere between a salad and a stew. It’s up to you
- 2 -3 medium Eggplants, salted, peeled and diced
- 1 -2 medium Onions diced
- 6-8 ripe Roma Tomatoes, roughly chopped or 1 large can of diced Tomatoes
- 1 cup of Green Olives, pitted and sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 2 Tablespoons of Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon of Sugar
- A cup of torn flat-leaved parsley
- A little olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Take your salted and dried eggplant slices and chop them into wedges
- Lightly mix the wedges together with a little olive oil until each eggplant piece is lightly coated
- Put the wedges on a lined baking tray and cook in a moderate oven for 15- 20 minutes until tender and wilted
- In a pan or saucepan, saute the onion and celery until the onion is clear
- Add the tomatoes and saute for about 10 minutes.
- Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar and pour it into the pan. Stir and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the eggplant wedges and the olives. Stir though on low heat for another 5 minutes. Stir the parsley through.