Caponata, Sicily

20 June 2015

In Palermo we had the great opportunity to meet Maria Anna, a real Sicilian who is a cook on an exclusive sailing boat.
Maria Anna teached us how to make one of our favourite Sicilian dishes: Caponata.
She is such an amazing cook that we are now able to make the most delicious Caponata of Sicily :-)

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Caponata is a famous Sicilian eggplant dish that can be eaten as cold antipasto with some bread or as secondo accompanying meat.

Before frying the eggplant in oil, you have to treat it with salt. This helps to draw the bitter liquid out from the eggplant (see picture with the black water in the blue bowl). In addition, it helps the eggplant pieces to keep their shape and become tender instead of becoming water-logged and soggy.

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We fried the eggplant pieces for about 15 minutes until they were soft and golden brown.

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The eggplant is accompanied by a tomato-celery-onion sauce. We seasoned the sauce with sweetened vinegar, capers and olives, until it had a perfect balance between sweet and sour.

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In the last step the fried eggplant is mixed with the sauce and is stored overnight in the fridge, so that the Caponata matures and intensifies its flavour.

The next day we enjoyed the chilled Caponata as antipasto with our Sicilian friends. Even they said it was absolutely one of the best Caponata they have ever eaten! :-)

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Grazie mille Maria Anna for the cooking lesson and nice evening! We are happy to have you as a new friend!