Caponata is to Sicily and Italy what chili is to the Midwest. Everyone has a recipe but no two recipes are the same. There are a few generally accepted ingredients but otherwise anything goes. Much like chili, it is served as a main dish or on top of another foods. The way it’s prepared; roasted, baked, fried or sautéed seems to vary, too. Also like chili, people are vehement about their way being the only correct way to prepare it.
Most folks seem to agree that caponata should consist of eggplant and other summer vegetables and be served as a stew or relish. Most recipes include a tomato base.
I have made it with stewed tomatoes and sliced Italian sausage links and served it with bread for dipping. I have used broth to water it down to make a stew. I have also used tomato sauce and put it over pasta. If you are not a food purist, there is no wrong way to make this stuff.
Remember to chop the veggies into sizes appropriate for the way you want to serve it. If it’s a relish, dice it more finely. If it’s a stew or casserole, larger chunks are fine.
4 C Diced Eggplant, skins on
2 C Cherry-Sized Tomatoes, halved
10 OZ Olives, whole or halved, drained
28 OZ can of tomato sauce
1 C Oil
1 T Parsley Flakes
Heat your cup of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add eggplant and allow to cook five minutes, stirring often.
Add tomatoes halves and stir in, making sure that tomatoes are coated in oil. Cook three more minutes. Add olives and parsley, and mix thoroughly.
I prefer to eat caponata as a stew, so I add a lot of tomato sauce but if you prefer it as a relish, dryer is better. Add tomato sauce according to your tastes.
Pour tomato sauce over mixture and mix it all together. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for five minutes or until you reach your desired texture.
You can serve your caponata immediately but it is also good the next day, after you have allowed it to marinate in the fridge. It can be served hot or at room temperature.