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Eggplant Caponata

Eggplant Caponata

Eggplant caponata, the ultimate comfort food in Sicilian cuisine. This recipe will transport you straight to the beautiful streets of Italy without the jet-lag. Just take a peek at the pictures below so you get an idea of what we are getting ourselves into. 

Look at that mouthwatering bowl of veggies! The colour, the taste, the aromas, everything in this dish is incredible. Eggplant caponata is a really heartwarming and nourishing meal that's also surprisingly easy to put together.

We've made caponata before. A few weeks ago I decided to switch up the recipe a bit and made this Cauliflower caponata that came out really tasty as well. The flavour is a lot more subtle since cauliflower is not as potent as eggplant when it comes to taste. 

Nowadays, there are a lot of different caponata versions out there but sometimes it is good to stick to the original recipe. Especially when it's as tasty and healthy as this one. Fortunately, the original Sicilian recipe is already vegan so we don't need to make any substitutions. 

Eggplant Caponata ingredients

Caponata is an eggplant dish made with cooked vegetables such as eggplant, onions, celery and tomatoes, with a sweet and sour sauce. There are a ton of different variations since it's a dish that's been around for a long time and each family makes it their own by changing the recipe a bit. 

Eggplant caponata reminds me of ratatouille, I'd say is the sweet and sour version of ratatouille. This might give you a better idea of what we will end up when we are done cooking this delicious meal. 

I love cooking with eggplant, it's such a flavourful veggie and it's packed with nutrients. The list of benefits you get from consuming eggplant is incredibly long, so here I'm just going to note a few: 

  • Improve bone health 
  • Improve brain function 
  • Helps improve digestion 
  • Reduces risk of anemia 
  • Prevents heart disease

Eggplant is a great veggie to include in one's diet but I always recommend being careful when cooking it. This veggie is really fleshy like a sponge so it absorbs fat really easily.  

chopped eggplant and celery

For this reason, I always recommend limiting the amount of oil used to cook eggplant. The least amount of oil you can use the better. Just enough to fry all of the ingredients. 

If you notice that the eggplant is not as tender as you'd like when you are done frying it, don't sweat it. We are simmering everything for a good while once all the ingredients are in the pot. This will allow the eggplant to cook for a bit longer and will also bring out all the flavours a lot more. 

These last few minutes are hard to deal with. Your whole house will be invaded with the incredible aromas that your eggplant caponata will release. Be patient, it's worth the wait. 

Serve your eggplant caponata while it is still warm and steamy alongside some toasted ciabatta for the best homemade Italian dinner ever! 

Eggplant Caponata top down

Ingredients
12
Prep time
15 minutes
Total time
Category: Dinner, Lunch
Serves: 4
Allergens: Eggplant, Olives, Tomatoes

Ingredients

For the caponata

  • 1 cup black beans
  • 2 tbsps capers (rinsed)
  • 4 medium celery (chopped)
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes (washed and cut in half)
  • 1½ lbs eggplant (diced into thumb size pieces)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • ½ cup green olives (pit removed and cut in half)
  • 2 tsps olive oil
  • 2 medium shallot (thinly sliced)

For the seasoning

  • 2 dashes black pepper
  • 2 tbsps cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley (thinly sliced)
  • 1 tsp italian herb mix
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp sea salt

For the almonds

  • ½ cup sliced almond (toasted)

For the bread

  • 8 slices ciabatta

Directions

  1. Heat up the oil and saute the shallot and celery for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the bite size eggplant pieces and saute for 5 minutes and stir occasionally.
  3. drain the capers and add the rest of the caponata ingredients together with the seasoning to the frying pan.
  4. Simmer for about 15 minutes until the eggplant is soften, add a bit more water if needed.
  5. Before serving scatter with the toasted almond slices and serve the eggplant caponata with fresh slices of bread, enjoy!

Notes

            

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