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SICILIAN CAPONATA
A MIX OF A VEGETABLE MEDLEY C0OKED DOWN TO A SPREADABLE CONSITENCY TO SPREAD ON TOASTED BREAD AS IN A BRUSCHETTA.

There are two recipes here, one on the savory side and the other "an agro-dolce" or sweet side.



The main ingredients for a caponata are eggplant, onions, celery, tomatoes and olives. You can add to those of course to make the caponata, sweet, spicy, acidic and everywhere else in between. No matter what you do, you are just adding another level of deliciousness!


RECIPE PRINTED FROM: THEGUTSYGOURMET.NET©


✯SICILIAN CAPONATA RECIPE 1

INGREDIENTS: Serves 6 or more • 3 ripe, medium-sized eggplants (about 2 1/2 pounds) • 1 teaspoon salt, plus salt to sprinkle on the eggplant • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/3 cup pure olive oil • 2 large onions, coarsely chopped • 4 stalks celery, coarsely chopped • 1 (12-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes or tomato puree • 3 fresh basil leaves, slivered • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper • 1/4 cup capers, drained and rinsed • 1 cup small green olives, pitted and sliced • 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar, or more to taste • Scant 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar DIRECTIONS: 1. Remove the stems from the eggplants and discard. 2. Cut unpeeled eggplant into 1/2 cubes and salt liberally; drain in a colander with a heavy weight, such as a pot or glass mixing bowl, on top for 1 hour to allow the bitter juices to drain off. Rinse off salt, squeeze well, and dry with absorbent paper. Set aside. 3. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet; add onions and celery and sautè covered for 5 to 8 minutes until slightly softened. Pour in tomatoes; add basil, salt, and pepper. 4. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add capers and olives, and cook for 5 minutes longer. Set aside. In another large skillet, sautè the eggplant in 1/3 cup of hot olive oil, (add more oil if necessary to prevent sticking; eggplant absorbs a lot of oil as it cooks.) After 15 minutes, transfer the sautèed eggplant to the skillet with the onion and celery mixture, stirring until evenly mixed. 5. Sprinkle the mixture with sugar, pour vinegar over, and stir. Cover and simmer slowly over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. 6. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours, or up to three days. Serve warm or cold.

✯SICILIAN CAPONATA RECIPE 2

INGREDIENTS: Serves 6 or more • 2-3 tbsp olive oil • 1 small red onion, diced • 1 small bulb fennel, diced • 1 small red bell pepper, diced • 2 cloves garlic • 2 small, baby eggplant, diced • 3 small zucchini, diced • 12 calamata olives, pitted, roughly chopped • 2 oz raisins (golden) • 1/2 cup diced fresh tomatoes • 1 tsp white balsamic vinegar DIRECTIONS: 1. Have all the vegetables ingredients diced. Set the eggplant on a tray lined with paper towels, sprinkle with a little salt to draw out moisture. (at least 30 minutes) 2. Heat large sautè pan with oil. (you can use a non stick pan if you wish). Sautè onion, fennel just it just begins to soften, then add garlic, red pepper, eggplant, zucchini. 3. Toss to coat with oil. Add the tomatoes. Add the vinegar, raisins and olives. 4. Cook until tender, on medium low. Taste. Add more vinegar or salt, or if not sweet enough, a pinch of sugar if needed. 5. If you are using as a pasta topping: Boil pasta. toss with vegetables. Add some fresh basil and cheese if you wish. COOKS NOTE* Either recipe can be used as a topping for a pasta such as fettuccini, Rigatoni, penne rigate, or some other larger pasta that will hold the sauce. Add a topping of dry cheese such as Parmigano Reggiano, Asiago or feta if you wish. Primarily for caponata, you can spread the caponata on some grilled Italian bread and just keep piling it on and enjoying it.


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