Only a few weeks ago we had never heard of the traditional Sicilian Eggplant Caponata Stew, but it’s quickly becoming a go-to dish for vegetarian night.
Generally served on delicious slices of quality bread, this meal provides a seriously interesting mix of flavours is stunning at every bite.
If serving it on bread isn’t your style, you can also serve it as is or as a topping for grilled chicken. When cooking for adults, feel free to spice things up a bit with chili if desired, just for an extra kick!
Spread the eggplant on a tray and sprinkle with several spoonfuls of salt. Leave for 20 minutes (continue with recipe while this happens) then transfer to a colander and rinse of the excess water. Dry with a paper towel.
While the eggplant is draining warm a large skillet on a medium heat and add .25 cup of olive oil. When hot, add the bay leaves and sizzle to flavour. Then add the onions and celery. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until vegetables are soft, about 25 minutes. Do not let the vegetables brown.
Add the tomatoes and capers, increase the heat again to medium, and cook for about five minutes, or until tomatoes begin to break down. Add in the olives, and then transfer the entire thing to a large bowl.
Heat the rest of the oil in the same skillet on a medium heat until very, very hot. Take the prepared eggplant and cook in the oil, stirring and tossing until brown on all sides, generally about 10 minutes. Add the eggplant to the bowl with the tomato mix, and stir to combine.
In a saucepan whisk the vegetal and sugar (you can also use honey). Bring to a boil and simmer until thickened and reduced by half. Stir this into the vegetables along with the basil and parsley. Serve at room temperature on good quality bread, or as a topping for chicken.