For those seeking to increase their vegetable intake, eggplant caponata is a delectable and nutritious option. This classic Italian dish blends eggplant, tomatoes, onions, capers, and olives with a sweet and tangy sauce to create a delightful and satiating meal.
What Do You Need To Make Eggplant Caponata?
Eggplants: This recipe’s crowning glory is undoubtedly the eggplants, as they provide a luscious, meaty mouthfeel and a savory, rustic essence to the caponata.
Tomatoes: The dish gains both sweetness and acidity when tomatoes are included, and they also assist in counterbalancing the intense flavor of the eggplants.
Onion: In the dish, onions form a foundation flavor that imparts a mild sweet taste and aids in the harmonization of all other flavors.
Capers: The caponata gets its tangy and salty taste from the small and pickled buds of flowers known as capers. They work effectively to counterbalance the richness of the eggplants and tomatoes.
Olives: When added to the dish, olives bring a savory and tangy taste while also providing a pleasing texture and offsetting the sweetness found in tomatoes.
Balsamic Vinegar: An indispensable item in this dish is balsamic vinegar. Its tart yet sweet taste contributes to the caponata’s complexity and counterbalances the acidity of the tomatoes.
Sugar: To counter the acidity of the tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, sugar can be incorporated for a subtle sweetness.
How to Make Eggplant Caponata:
To commence, dice the eggplants into 1-inch pieces.
Add salt to the eggplant cubes and let them rest for about 30 minutes to get rid of any extra water content.
To start cooking, use a large skillet set at medium heat.
Pour olive oil onto the pan and wait for it to heat up.
Add in the eggplant cubes and cook them for around 10-15 minutes.
Keep stirring every so often until they’re golden brown on all sides.
Remove the eggplant from the pan and set it aside.
Then, add diced onions to the same pan and cook them until they become tender and translucent.
Place chopped tomatoes, capers, and sliced olives in the frying pan and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the tomatoes have released their juices and the mixture has thickened to some extent.
Mix the cooked eggplant back into the pan and blend it in.
Add balsamic vinegar, sugar, and a pinch of salt to the pan, stir to combine all ingredients, and cook for a further 5-7 minutes.
Remove the caponata from the stove and let it cool for a short while before it’s ready to be served.
Tips for Italian eggplant caponata:
- In order to make this recipe vegan-friendly, you can either exclude the sugar or replace it with a sugar substitute that is compatible with a vegan diet.
- For this recipe, it’s important to choose ripe tomatoes that can offer just the right blend of sweetness and acidity.
- If a less coarse texture is your preference for caponata, blending the mixture in a food processor or blender is a viable solution before serving.
The step-by-step instructions Eggplant caponata pictures can be found in the recipe card below.
Questions and answers about the Eggplant caponata recipe
Italian caponata eggplant Variations:
For an extra burst of taste and color, add some bell peppers that have been diced to the mixture.
To achieve a slightly distinct flavor, consider substituting balsamic vinegar with red wine vinegar.
For an additional texture boost, mix in some pine nuts or slivered almonds.
Have a look at our other appetizer recipes, how about Sweet Potato Casserole with Marshmallows or Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
What Do You Serve With Caponata Eggplant?
Enjoy Eggplant Caponata as a stand-alone meal or as an accompaniment to crusty bread, pasta, or grilled meat. This flexible dish can be served as a side or main course, depending on your preference.
Can You Freeze Italian Caponata Eggplant?
It’s possible to freeze Italian Caponata Eggplant. After the Caponata has cooled off, put it into a freezer-safe container or bag that can be sealed tightly. Remember to mark the container with the contents and date. The Caponata can remain frozen for up to 3 months. To serve, defrost it in the fridge overnight and then reheat it either on the stove or in the microwave.
How Do You Store Eggplant Caponata?
The best way to store our recipe is by placing it in an airtight container and keeping it in the fridge. This technique should keep it edible for a maximum of five days.
Do You Need to Soak Eggplant Before Frying?
It is recommended to soak eggplant before frying to minimize moisture and bitterness. One can slice the eggplant, sprinkle salt, wait for half an hour, wash it, and dry it before frying.
Calories in the Recipe:
If you consume a serving of Eggplant Caponata that measures around one cup, you will ingest roughly 145 calories.
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Eggplant caponata recipe
- 2 medium-sized eggplants
- 2 medium-sized tomatoes, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- Olive oil for frying
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons capers
- ½ cup sliced olives
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- To prepare the eggplants, chop them into 1-inch pieces and sprinkle them with salt.
- Leave them for approximately 30 minutes, during which time they will release excess water
- Heat up a large skillet over medium heat and pour in some olive oil.
- Saute the eggplant cubes for 10-15 minutes until they turn a crispy brown on all sides.
- Take the eggplant out of the pan and reserve it.
- Sautee diced onions in the pan until they become tender and translucent.
- After that, add diced tomatoes, capers, and sliced olives to the pan and cook the mixture for roughly 5-7 minutes until the tomatoes have released their juices and the texture has thickened slightly.
- Stir in the cooked eggplant after adding it back to the pan.
- Add salt, sugar, and balsamic vinegar as desired.
- Cook for an additional 5-7 minutes after combining.
- Before serving, take the caponata off the stove and allow it cool slightly.
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