The Sicilian eggplant caponata recipe featured below makes a delightful and colorful appetizer or side dish and is low in fat. It’s delicious served over crostini (toasted rustic bread) crackers or by itself.
- 1 - 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 eggplant peeled and cut into small cubes
- 1 cup tomatoes fresh, ripe
- 1 red bell pepper seeds removed - coarsely chopped
- 1 green bell pepper seeds removed -coarsely chopped
- 1 onion coarsely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 15 black olives imported - pitted and chopped
- ¼ cup capers drained
- ½ tsp red crushed pepper
- ¼ cup Italian parsley fresh, chopped
- 2 Tbsp basil or marjoram fresh, chopped
- 1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
- In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm the olive oil and saute the eggplant for about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, red peppers, green peppers, onion, and garlic. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add the olives, capers, parsley, red crushed pepper, basil, and vinegar.
- Turn the mixture into a large bowl. Cover and let it set for 2 hours before serving or refrigerate overnight. NOTE: It takes a little while for the flavors to blend for the best taste so don't serve it immediately.
Eggplant caponata was originally created by the Moors in Spain during the middle ages but is also known as a classic Sicilian dish. The eggplant, known in Europe as aubergine, adds sweetness. Along with olives, capers, and other vegetables, it makes a colorful and flavorful dish.
Eggplant originally came from India where it grew wild and was first cultivated in China. By the 18th century, both the French and the Italians cultivated it. Other names for eggplant are melongene, brinjal, garden egg, and guinea squash. Thomas Jefferson, who happened to be an experimental botanist, introduced eggplant to the United States in 1806.
It’s an excellent source of dietary fiber and contains vitamins B1, B6, potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, and folic acid. Nasunin, an anthocyanin from eggplant peels, is a potent antioxidant and free-radical scavenger and has protective activity against lipid peroxidation.
If you have type 2 diabetes or are at risk for it, the National Diabetes Education Program, Mayo Clinic, and American Diabetes Association recommend adding eggplant to your diet because it’s low in carbs and fiber-filled.
What’s your favorite way to eat eggplant? Please leave a comment below.