Caponata – if at first you don’t like it, try it again

Sicilians build things like they will live forever and eat like they will die tomorrow.” – Plato.

Hi there,

This post is another tale of disliking a food and then ending up falling in love with the taste. You may remember me talking about my friend, Al, and the pesto disaster. Alfred was constantly introducing me to new foods with varying degrees of success. One of the first foods he introduced was Caponata. As much as I loved Al, I couldn’t get my arms around all that eggplant. I mean, you have to admit, eggplant isn’t the first thing that pops into your mind when you are hungry.

So fast forward to my wonderful trip to Sicily and the macho men taking the cooking class in Corleone. One of the dishes we made was Caponata. My mind was entirely made up that I wouldn’t like all that eggplant no matter who told me it was tasty.

Well, here we go again – this stuff is really, really, good and now I am not only a believer but faithfully make Caponata whenever I spy out some beautiful eggplant. I was at a farmer’s market and came across various varieties of eggplant and brought them home. In a short time they became this delicious caponata.

CAPONATA ALA LEON D’ORO, CORLEONE

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sized eggplant – Italian or white
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 3 carrots
  • 1onion
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes drained
  • 12 pitted green olives – cerginola if you can find them pitted. Don’t use olives in brine
  • 2 tablespoons of capers
  • 3/4 cup of raisins reconstituted in white wine
  • 3/4 cup roasted pignoli nuts
  • 1 small bunch of basil roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • EVOO
  • basalmic wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Dice the eggplant and fry in a small amount of EVOO
  2. Dice the celery, carrots and onion
  3. Remove the eggplant and add enough oil to sauté the celery, carrots and onions
  4. One the vegetables are golden, add the drained can of diced tomatoes and basil leaves
  5. Cook for approximately 10 minutes
  6. Add to the pan the eggplant, capers, olives, raisins, pignoli, honey and vinegar
  7. Cook until all liquid has thickened and the vinegar has carmalized
  8. Taste and add salt and pepper

Special note: not only does Caponata make an excellent appetizer but mixed with tuna fish it makes a delicious and quick lunch. It also is wonderful as a filling for a dinner omelet.

I hope you don’t wait as many years as I have to become a fan of this unique and delicious dish.

Talk soon, ❤️💕 Bernadette

39 comments

  1. 💜 Kids ARE Wonderful to Watch when CHOOSING!!! what to eat EveryOne; as a KiDult I Live in The Moment…so SomeTimes Savoury, SomeTimes Sweet and SomeTimes Both, YUMMY!!!

    …💛💚💙…

    Liked by 1 person

      1. 💜 YOU!!! ARE Most Welcome SupaSoulSis; plus THANK YOU!!! for Sharing and Serving with YOUR!!! Kind Words, Stay Strong and Serene

        …💛💚💙…

        Like

  2. I remember not wanting to try eggplant till, when I was about 14, my Uncle Sam gestured to the Eggplant Parmigiana Mom had made and said, “Try it. It tastes like chicken.” Well, of course, it didn’t taste like chicken, but it was love at first bite. However, I don’t usually make caponata. Oh my gosh–the RAISINS… that seems like one of those Arabic touches so common in Southern Italian-Sicilian cooking. I have to try this.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, it seems that raisens and pine nuts pop up in a lot of Sicilian cooking representing the melting pot of people indigenous to the island. Isn’t it funny how we were all told everything tasted like chicken. Have a w onderful weekend Angela.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love eggplant or aubergines as the British and French call them. I have many great recipes and usually include at least one at my Christmas dinner. Even folks who say they don’t like eggplants, like my dishes. This recipe looks wonderful.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m not allergic to any of the other nightshades, and the allergy came on all of a sudden. One day I could eat eggplant parmigiana, the next day I couldn’t, and I had made it for a dinner party. Itchy mouth and throat. Big drat!

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  4. I love eggplant (now that I’m a grown-up – as a kid I wouldn’t touch it). This sounds wonderful, Bernadette, and perfect for the season. I printed off the recipe and will give it a try. I had to look up EVOO. Lol. Got it! Thanks for the recipe!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. My husband loves eggplant, I am not in love with it. With all the other ingredients, maybe I could get close to it. I am an old farmer from Maine, and it is hard to take the potatoes away in favor of anything else. Age and weight are taking care of that, now.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve never had it but with so many tasty ingredients I’m sure it’s delicious. One of my favorite trips was to Italy -.we started in Venice and spent two lovely weeks driving through that beautiful country, ending up on the Amalfi Coast. Cooking classes are always fun!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. i love eggplant! i do agree with you about eating foods till you like them. for me it was things like capsicum and chokoes and basil and fresh coriander … i didn’t like them but i just kept eating them till i did 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh, yum! This is a great story that everyone can relate to, and a testament to the fact that our taste buds can and do evolve! Great picture of you in Italy, by the way. I have never tried making caponata and I’m not sure why because I have thoroughly enjoyed it in restaurants and at wine dinners. I’m going to give your recipe a go as soon as I spot some pretty eggplant! Does it matter what variety of white wine?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nope, I used whatever was open but usually sauvignon blanc is open. Another blogger who blogs about wine said he was going to make it. I asked him to let me know what he plans on serving it with.

      Like

  9. I’ve never had caponata before – but I love eggplant, and anything that contains vinegar, balsamic or otherwise. So I am definitely going to try this. We can get all sorts of different types of aubergines here so it will be interesting to see how they each taste in this recipe.

    Love the story of your journey with eggplants. Sometimes a food is a cultivated taste.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am curious to know how all those aubergines will differ in taste. Yes, it has been quite a cooking journey for me from meat and potatoes girl to eggplant. Thank you for taking the time to visit. I just came from your beautiful blog.

      Like

      1. We use different types of eggplant to cook different things as they vary in texture as well as taste.

        Thank you for visiting my space!

        Like

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