Sicilian Caponata


Recipe courtesy of Vegetables Illustrated

Makes about 3 cups 

  • 1½ pounds eggplant, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup V8 juice
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar, plus extra for seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 anchovy fillets, rinsed and minced
  • 1 large tomato, cored, seeded, and chopped
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons minced black olives
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 celery rib, chopped fine
  • 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

Sicilian Caponata

Click image to enlarge



Toss eggplant with salt in bowl. Line entire surface of large plate with double layer of coffee filters and lightly spray with vegetable oil spray. Spread eggplant in even layer on coffee filters. Microwave until eggplant is dry and shriveled to one-third of its original size, 8 to 15 minutes (eggplant should not brown). Transfer eggplant immediately to paper towel-lined plate. 

Whisk V8 juice, vinegar, sugar, parsley, and anchovies together in medium bowl. Stir in tomato, raisins, and olives. 

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until shim­mering. Add eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until edges are browned, 4 to 8 minutes, adding 1 teaspoon more oil if pan appears dry; transfer to bowl.

Add remaining oil to now-empty skillet and heat over medium-high heat until shimmer­ing. Add celery, bell pepper, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and edges are spotty brown, 6 to 8 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low and stir in eggplant and juice mixture. Bring to simmer and cook until juice is thickened and coats vegetables, 4 to 7 minutes. Transfer to serv­ing bowl and let cool to room temperature. Season with extra vinegar to taste and sprin­kle with pine nuts before serving. (Caponata can be refrigerated for up to 1 week; bring to room temperature before serving.)


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