- 15 minutes
- 20 minutes
- Makes about 4 cups
Versions of this famous dish have been made for centuries in Sicily. As a do-ahead appetizer, serve Caponata chilled in a bowl, accompanied with lightly toasted or grilled French bread slices. Caponata is a do-ahead warm topping for grilled fish or chicken. Or, add the eggplant mixture to a brunch menu as a tasty omelet filling. Eggplant does not necessarily need to be sliced, salted, and weighted to squeeze out the juice, as some cookbooks recommend. Only overripe fruit is tough and bitter, so it's best to select young, smaller eggplants.
- Stir together the vinegar and tomato paste in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large sautee pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium; stir in the eggplant, tomatoes, and parsley. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the basil and capers. Season with pepper and salt to taste.
- Serve immediately while warm. Or, refrigerate in a covered bowl, and serve later chilled or at room temperature.