¾ pound eggplant ½ pound ripe tomatoes 1 medium onion (about 7 ounces) 1 medium zucchini (about 7 ounces) ½ cup celery 3 ½ ounces green olives 5 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons salt-packed capers rinsed well 3 tablespoons granulated sugar 2 ½ tablespoons white wine vinegar salt and pepper to taste 3 ounces raisins fresh basil minced to taste ¼ cup pine nuts 1 cup bell or sweet peppers cocoa powder (optional) to taste
Carefully rinse all the vegetables and dice. Pit the olives and cut in half. Thinly slice the onion.
Sweat the onion in oil in a pan over low heat. Add a pinch of salt and half of the vinegar, allowing it to evaporate.
Sauté the eggplant in a drizzle of oil in a pan over medium heat until tender. Season with a pinch of salt and set aside.
Heat a small amount of oil in a larger pan over medium heat. Sauté the celery first, then the peppers and the zucchini, until tender-crisp. Add a pinch of salt.
Add the olives and capers. Plump the raisins in water and drain. Add along with the sautéed onion, tomatoes, sautéed eggplant and pine nuts. Add the rest of the vinegar and the sugar. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add basil leaves.
Mix well and cook until the vegetables are tender but do not fall apart. Serve cold, with a dusting of cocoa powder, if desired.
The dish is aromatic and spicy with a tart note that balances it well. We will pair it with a dry, young white wine with a floral bouquet and fruity notes. D.O.C. Etna Bianco
It can be served as an appetizer or as a side dish for meat or fish main courses. Its sweet and sour taste gives the dish a distinctive originality. Therefore we recommend using it as an accompaniment to simple main courses that are not very complex. A good caponata must be well-balanced, but the vegetables must remain very separate from each other, so that they do not blend into a creamy mixture.