This is a recipe from my father’s cousin, Alma Santucci Terrible. Yes Terrible really was her married name. They even had a company, Terrible Construction! When my dad retired he started doing a little cooking and this was a recipe he made often and I remember it fondly. What is caponata? Well when cooked down a lot to some it’s a stew or even a spread. To us it was more of an appetizer or even a condiment. I described it to my Sweetie as Italian salsa. Dad would jar and refrigerate it and mom served it alongside cheese, meat or on Italian bread.
Typically it is served at room temperature and I like it best on some toasted garlic bread. The flavor complements either chicken or fish well. My “Aunt” Alma used pignoli (pine) nuts in hers but dad didn’t and I don’t.
Make some yourself and see just how you like it!
Eggplant Caponata Recipe
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 med-large eggplants, peeled and diced into 1 cm cubes
¼ cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
3 medium onions, chopped finely
4 stalks celery, chopped finely
2 teaspoons salt
2 16 oz cans petite diced (or crushed) tomatoes
1 ½ ounces capers
1 6 oz can of black, pitted olives, drained and cut in half lengthways
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet over med-hi. Add eggplant, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring until all fully softened. Put aside in a bowl.
Heat the vinegar in a small pan and dissolve the sugar. Bring to a boil and add to eggplant mixture.
Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet over med-hi. Add onion, celery and salt. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring until soft.
Drain the canned tomatoes reserving 3/4 cup of liquid. Add 2 cups of the tomatoes and the 3/4 cup of liquid to the onion and celery.
Add the capers and olives. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Add eggplant mixture and cook 5 more minutes or longer for an softer more spreadable result.
Let cool and jar. Yield: 6 jars 1-½ cup size