Caponata Fresca Primavera
Fresh Springtime Caponata
Ah, yes- Caponata! That Sicilian classic! A wonderful mix of celery, egg plant, peppers, tomato, onion, garlic, olives and capers- so rich and delicious! The traditional version would be stewed down more into a smoother, richer, more intense finished product, which makes a wonderful preserve. This faster version is wonderful eaten straight from the pan- either simply with some fresh bread, or even as a condiment to a pasta or rice dish if you like- or as a side to any number of meat dishes. Let me tell me how I made it and then you can try it for yourself!
I started off by chopping all of the ingredients so that I could add them one by one to the pan. Traditionally, you would fry each ingredient seperately, which does make it a little more time consuming. Me- I am open for change and all for time-saving!
I began cooking with the celery and peppers as they take the longest, sautéeing them with a little crushed garlic in olive oil at a moderate heat. After 5-6 minutes I added the egg plant and added some dried oregano, thyme, marjoram, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
5 minutes later, I added a handful of diced cherry tomatoes and the same of halved olives and capers... and trust me- by now things were really smelling delicious! Next came a tablespoon of tomato paste and a half cup of boiling water. Stir these in well and add 2 chopped Spring onions, a pinch of sugar and a squeeze of lemon. I like to add a little chili, cayenne or Tabasco and make mine a little more fiery- but mild or hot, you are going to love this great combination of flavors!
By the time the water and tomato paste have thickened down and everything has become a nice compact mass... you are ready to serve and ready to enjoy! Grab yourself a bottle or red wine and some bread and bon apetito!