Caponata, a sweet-and-sour eggplant dish from Sicily, gets its distinctive flavor from a blending of the island's Mediterranean and North African influences. We batch-cook the eggplant, zucchini and onion plus bell pepper to better preserve each vegetable's character. This keeps the caponata bright and full of texture rather than stewy and one-dimensional. A tangy-sweet vinegar-sugar glaze, added at the end of cooking, brings the elements together. If your palate prefers a sweeter caponata, stir in additional sugar when seasoning with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature with crusty bread as an appetizer or as a side to grilled or roasted meats and seafood.
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
medium eggplant (about 1 pound), trimmed and cut into 1-inch chunks
01In a nonstick 12-inch skillet over medium, heat 4 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Add the eggplant and 1 teaspoon salt, stir, then distribute in an even layer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is browned and a fork inserted in the largest piece meets no resistance, 10 to 15 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a large bowl.
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