Cooking Vacations with The International Kitchen: Recipe of the Month
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Eggplant Caponata with Toasted Almonds and Dark Cacao Powder

October 2014

Whether you want to serve a vegetarian entree, or a tasty side packed with vegetables, try this eggplant caponata dish from Sicily. Considered both a stew as well as a relish — depending on how its served, and what it’s served with — this meal is considered an agrodolce, otherwise known as a sweet and sour sauce. This particular recipe hails from the kitchen of Chef Vincenzo, who leads a one-day cooking class in Palermo.

For contact us for details on this class, or any of our cooking vacations, in Italy.

Ingredients

Serves 8 people.

  • 4 large eggplants
  • 2 large onions
  • 100 gr. (3 1/2 oz) sliced celery stalk. Use the inside part of the celery, including the leaves.
  • 50 gr. (1 3/4 oz) green olives (pitted and coarsely chopped)
  • 3 or 4 chopped and peeled tomatoes
  • 50 gr. (1 3/4 oz) capers (well rinsed)
  • 40 gr. (about 1 1/4 oz) sugar
  • 40 gr. (about 1 1/4 oz) white wine vinegar
  • Chopped tasted almonds for decoration
  • Dark cacao powder for decoration
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste

Directions

1. Cut the eggplants into 2 cm cubes. Salt well and set aside for 15 minutes.

2. After 15 minutes, rinse the eggplant under cold running water, drain, and fry in olive oil until golden brown.

3. Place the fried eggplants in a casserole dish.

4. Thinly slice the onions and sweat them (in a large, heavy skillet) in olive oil until soft. Add salt and pepper.

5. Add celery and continue sweating until semi-soft. Add more salt and pepper.

6. On high heat, add the chopped and peeled tomatoes, and stir well.

7. Add the sugar and let caramelize.

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