Caponata is a delicious sweet and sour eggplant antipasto that can be used in a variety of different ways.
A great dish for the summer months when fresh eggplant, peppers and tomatoes are at their best, caponata is perfect to serve as a vegan appetizer, side or even main dish.
Caponata is a very popular dish and there are plenty of recipes to be had on the internet.
Just as with ratatouille, don’t bother trying to determine which is the most authentic or “true” recipe, there are lots of variations in both ingredients and technique.
What’s sure is that you need eggplants and if you are like I once was and very suspicious of this strange vegetable, perhaps caponata will convince you how creamy and delicious eggplant can be.
Other essentials are celery, onion, tomatoes and vinegar. The rest, really, is up to you.
Red and/or green pepper, zucchini, capers, black and/or green olives, raisins and pine nuts are all your choice. Some recipes result in a thicker, stew-like dish; while others, like mine, are chunkier.
Just as with the ingredients, cooking methods are variable. Typically the eggplant should be deep fried, but it’s equally possible to roast them in the oven until creamy.
Whatever you do, don’t try to shallow fry an eggplant. It will simply suck up all the oil, inciting you to add more until you’re left with a super greasy caponata.
While some recipes will have you believe that eggplant antipasto is a quick dish you can put together in 30 minutes by throwing everything together in the pan, if you really want to appreciate the beauty of such simple ingredients, low and slow is best.
The longer the cooking time, the deeper the flavour. Likewise, caponata is always better the second day after the flavours have had time to meld.
Caponata is extremely versatile – use it to top crusty bread or pasta, as a sandwich spread or to stuff tomatoes. It’s excellent for lunch or dinner served alongside a summery cold soup like gazpacho, salmorejo or vegan vichyssoise.
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 658Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 28gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1425mgCarbohydrates: 86gFiber: 19gSugar: 26gProtein: 10g