I can’t bring myself to see the summer go away. So, as there are still plenty of summer vegetables, I take advantage of it. I cooked a dish that makes me travel, rich in flavors and colors, a caponata. I love the flavors of Sicily and it’s a cuisine that I discover with great pleasure. You may be surprised at first by the mixtures, but you just have to take your fork and taste to be definitely seduced.
For the record, I brought back from Sicily a big book on Sicilian cuisine. Something to keep me busy for a long time, especially since my Italian is very bad and each recipe requires a lot of work to understand. What I really like about this book is all the variations that are offered for each recipe. They allow me to cook Sicilian while being completely uninhibited. You can have fun with the basic recipe without betraying tradition.
For the caponata alone, I ended up with almost 10 different recipes. It was finally the one with potatoes that seduced me.
Caponata is a cold salad that can be served on toast or as an accompaniment to fish or meat. This dish is a marvel.
Here, it consists of eggplant, celery, onion, capers, olives, pine nuts and raisins. A hint of vinegar brings acidity and a little sugar sweetness. Potatoes make for a heartier salad.
600 g potatoes (Charlotte)
1 heart of celery
75g pine nuts
1 tbsp raisins
1 tbsp capers
100g green olives
20 cl of tomato sauce
2 stalks of basil
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
Cut the eggplants into cubes, salt them and leave for 1 hour in a colander with a weight on it.
Cut the potatoes into cubes and fry them in a little olive oil until cooked.
Fry the aubergines in a little olive oil until golden brown. Proceed several times.
Finely chop the onion and the celery heart with the leaves.
Fry in a little oil.
When it’s cooked, add the pine nuts, grapes, capers, olives. Mix and cook for about 2 minutes.
Add tomato sauce, basil leaves, oregano, salt and pepper.
Let simmer for about 15/20 minutes over low heat.
Add vinegar and sugar.
Add reserved potatoes and eggplant. Mix and simmer again over low heat for 5 minutes.
Leave to cool then place in the fridge.
To finish: it is possible to add blanched almonds once the cooking is finished. Didn’t do it this time, but I’ll be sure to try next time…