Eggplant or Aubergine caponata – Caponata di melanzane

Ingredients for 6 servings

  • 4 medium black eggplants
  • 1 stalk of celery with leaves
  • 3 oz. pitted green olives
  • 1 tbsp of capers
  • 1 tbsp of pine seeds
  • 1/2 glass of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 glass of white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • fresh basil
  • 1 bu.
  • 1 medium onion
  • seed oil
  • 1 teaspoon of raisins (optional)
  • salt
  • pepper TT

 

It is a widespread traditional summer dish which must be served cold and can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days. In glass containers with airtight closing and then sterilized this preparation can be stored for several months.

 

Preparation
Wash and dice the eggplants; sprinkle with salt and leave for a couple fo hours in a colander to drain the excess water.Dry carefully then deep fry in seed oil. When golden, drain and put on kitchen paper towels. Husk and chop the celery and sautè in a frying pan with olive oil and the sliced onion. Before the sautè in golden add the tomato sauce, some leaves of basil, the olives, the capers, the pine seeds and, if desired, the raisins (which will have been left in lukewarm water and then squeezed). Add salt, and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes at medium heat. Pour over the vinegar and sugar ; mix and allow to evaporate a little.Combine eggplants and sauce and toss. Chill the caponata and add toasted and chopped almonds(optional).

 

Variation
There are many variations of caponata among which are the addition of small octopus (in Palermo); fish, and in different part of Sicily, a mixture of eggplants and peppers. The caponata can also be prepared with artichokes.

Read some insight into the early days of caponata by Ann Stutch, musician, world traveler, and lover of Sicily.

Eggplant Parmigiana – Melanzane alla parmigiana

Ingredients for 6 servings

approximately 8 oz. per person

  • 5 large eggplants
  • 1 1/2 cups of tomato sauce, fresh basil
  • 1 bu., 3 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, 4 oz. of grated Parmesan
  • seed oil
  • 1/4 tbsp sugar
  • salt
  • pepper TT

 

Preparation

Fine dice onion and sautè in a saucepan with the olive oil; add the tomato sauce , a handful of leaves of basil, a dash of salt, a dash of pepper and a pinch of sugar. Mix carefully and simmer for about 15 minutes. Wash the eggplants and cut the stems off; cut into thick slices,sprinkle with salt and drain in a colander to lose the excess water.After a couple of hours, rinse, dry carefully and deep fry in seed oil.Put some tomato sauce in a baking-pan and place a layer of eggplants,well dripped, cover with tomato sauce,sprinkle with grated parmesan and snipper basil.Top with sauce and sprinkle abundantly with grated cheese; cookin warm oven for about twenty minutes.

 

Variation

The Eggplant Parmigiana can be enriched with slices of boiled eggs and primosale or mozzarella or other fresh cheese. In some parts of Sicily this dish is topped with a mixture of beaten eggs and pecorino (Parmesan cheese) before baking.