June 2023


serves 12


4 medium eggplants
1/2 cup olive oil, plus olive oil for frying
2 red onions, chopped
3 stalks celery
1 1/2 cups green olives, such as Castelvetrano
1 cup salted capers, rinsed well and chopped if large
1 cup plain tomato purée, plus more as needed (be stingy to beging with: the Caponata should not be wallowing in liquid)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup slivered almonds


Trim the eggplant and chop it into generous (about 1 inch) cubes. If bitter, liberally sprinkle the eggplant with salt and let drain in a colander for an hour or so. Rinse the eggplant and lightly squeeze to remove the excess moisture. Heat two to three inches of olive oil in a deep heavy skillet. Working in batches, deep-fry the eggplant until browned and tender. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried eggplant to paper towels to drain. Set aside. Chop the onions and set aside. Wash the celery well and cut it into one inch pieces. Blanch the celery by cooking it in a small saucepan of boiling water for a minute or two. Drain and set aside. Pit the olives if necessary, and cut lengthwise into thirds or quarters. Rinse the capers well, drain, and if large, chop coarsely. Heat half cup olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the blanched celery and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, before adding the olives, capers, tomatoes, sugar, and vinegar. Let the mixture simmer together for about five minutes. (Go easy on the salt if you have salted the eggplant before frying. Add the fried eggplant, stir gently to combine, and simmer for another five minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely before serving. It will be even better the next day. To serve, top with slivered almonds.

Caponata story   rain recipe box16x9