For some reason, sweet and sour combinations are not very popular in many regions of Italy. However, the few popular sweet and sour preparations we have are quite exceptional, and caponata alla siciliana is one of them. Usually prepared with fried aubergines – which we won’t fry – this dish makes one of the best vegetable side courses we’ve ever tried, and since it takes minutes to prepare, we hope you will enjoy it quite a lot.
- To begin with, preheat the oven to 180°C (360°F), and toast the pine nuts for five minutes.
- Chop all the vegetables into chunks of roughly the same size.
- Place a pan over a medium heat, tip the oil, the onions and the celery in, and cook them until the onions are slightly translucent. The oil can be omitted and substituted with some water, but the small quantity added makes the dish more authentic.
- Add in the aubergines, the tomatoes, the capers, the olives, the vinegar, the sugar and the water, and stir to combine the ingredients.
- As soon as the water starts boiling, lower the heat to the minimum, cover the pan with the lid and cook the caponata for 20 minutes.
- Halfway through the cooking time, give the ingredients a good stir, to ensure that they are not burning on the bottom of the pan.
- Once the time has elapsed, the caponata is ready to be served, so taste the dish and adjust the salt if necessary.
- Due to the nature of this dish, virtually any ingredient can be substituted with something else. However there are a few ingredients that greatly contribute to create the authentic flavour, which are the aubergines, the tomatoes, the capers and the pine nuts, so it makes sense to keep them in, unless you don’t like them for some specific reason.
Preparation Time: 10m
Cooking Time: 25m
Total Time: 35m
Cooking Temperature: 180°C - 360°F
Storage Times: Keeps for 3 days in the fridge.