Palermitan Caponata recipe is probably the most worldwide famous Sicilian Caponata. This sweet and sour appetizer had been originally served as side dish, and paired with grilled Mahi Mahi. The Palermitan Caponata recipe is prepared into two different variations: the first one simpler in ingredients, the second enriched with pine nuts, raisin, and roasted almonds. Here the traditional recipe of Palermitan Caponata!
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- 1.5 Lb little or baby eggplants (700 g)
- 1/2 red onion
- 1 celery stick
- 3/4 cups tomato puree (best if San Marzano) (170g)
- 1 tbsp capers in sea salt (alternatively, capers in vinegar)
- 12 Castelvetrano olives, pitted
- 6 basil leaves
- 1.5 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 cups extra-virgin olive oil (500 ml)
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- to taste table salt
- 1 tbsp toasted pine nuts (rich variation)
- 1 tbsp roasted almonds (rich variation)
- 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder (rich variation)
- 1 tbsp raisin (rich variation)
CAPONATA RECIPE INTO THE SICILIAN CUISINE
The Caponata is a classic and controversial Sicilian recipe. Speaking about Caponata with more than a Sicilian can get confusing: every person will give you a different recipe swearing that’s the original one: this is because Sicily boasts 37 official variations of Caponata and much more personal family recipes!
Caponata is usually served as appetizer or side dish, paired with toasted bread, or seafood, or grilled meats.
To read the complete history of the Sicilian Caponata, and the recipes of the main variations, click here!
The Palermitan version is likely the most popular abroad, thanks to the Pensabene family, that started the industrial production of jarred Caponata since 1869, selling that in several regions over the Italian borders, like Americas, Africa, and the Middle East.
Another historical manufacter of jarred Caponata is the Fratelli Contorno factory, since 1916.
The Palermitan Caponata comes in two variations: the Basic, and the Rich.
- The Basic variation is made with the vegetables and Agrodolce (sweet and sour) sauce.
- The Rich variation is enhanced with toasted pine nuts, grated almonds, raisin, and cocoa powder.
They are both delicious, but in my opinion, into the rich version flavors are better balanced.
TIPS AND SERVING
RESTING – The resting is a critical and essential step. Just cooked, the Caponata taste is not what you expect. It needs at least 8 hours (best if 24 hours) in the fridge to bring out the original flavor. I strongly suggest you do not serve the Caponata before the right resting; you might be disappointed!
EGGPLANTS – The best eggplants to prepare the Caponata recipe are the purple-black little or baby eggplants skin on: you want not to peel them to save all the different flavors of the eggplants. The salt purging is strongly recommended.
FRYING OIL – Traditionally, the eggplants are fried in olive oil. I’m aware that outside Italy this step can be quite expensive, the taste is incomparable. In case you don’t want to use extra virgin olive oil, replace with sesame oil.
PAIRING – Following the legend, the Caponata has been originally paired with the Capone fish (Mahi Mahi). Nowadays Caponata is served as an appetizer along with bread or, less common, as a side dish of grilled meats and seafood.
PURGING EGGPLANTS AND CAPERS
FRIED EGGPLANTS AND BOILED CELERY
REST AND SERVE
Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 588Total Fat 112gSaturated Fat 15gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 94gCholesterol 0mgCarbohydrates 24gFiber 5gSugar 12gProtein 3g
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