Caponata is a classic of Sicilian cuisine.
Essentially a vegetable stew, it can be enjoyed after a day or two with meat, spread on crusty farmhouse bread hot from the oven, or with cheese for an informal supper. Throw in a few basil leaves before serving for an even more aromatic flavour. It is delicious hot or at room temperature.
• 2 medium potatoes
• 2 long, thin eggplant, largely diced but not peeled
• 2 carrots
• 200 g of French beans
• 2 stalks of celery
• 1 large or 2 small onions
• 1 red pepper
• Salt, pepper
• Olearia San Giorgio Virgin Olive Oil* for frying
• 3 tablespoons of Organic Fair Vanilla Infused Organic Cane Sugar*
• 2 tablespoons of Sigillo Oro Balsamic Vinegar* from Acetaia La Bonissima
Finely dice the vegetables (except the eggplant) and be careful not to mix them together. Place the Virgin olive oil in a small but preferably deep saucepan and fry the vegetables in this order: first the potatoes, then the carrots, then the French beans, the celery, the eggplant and, last of all, the onions and peppers. After they are fried, drain them on paper towel and then place them all in a large bowl. They should be cooked but not overcooked, because the secret of a good caponata is ensuring the vegetables still have a certain “crunch”. Once you have fried them all (and bear in mind you should not have to add Extra Virgin Olive Oil during cooking since the vegetables have not been dipped in flour and therefore do not soak up any fat) , place a non-stick pan (large enough to hold all the vegetables) on the stove. Bring the vinegar and sugar to a boil and allow to simmer for two or three minutes. Toss the fried vegetables into this dressing, mixing very gently with a wooden spoon in order to avoid reducing them to a mush. Mix like this for 3 or 4 minutes, then remove from the heat and leave to cool.
This is the award-winning recipe for which Acetaia La Bonissima won the “Giorgio Fini” culinary award in 1999.
*To find out where to buy these Sarafino products, click here.