Caponata Palermitana – Sicilian Sweet & Sour Vegetables

caponata palermitana_page

3 large aubergines
salt and pepper
4 celery sticks
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 397 g (14 oz) can peeled tomatoes, drained and sieved
1 tablespoon tomato purée
2-3 tablespoons wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons capers
12 green olives, stoned
To garnish:
1 tablespoon pine nuts or flaked almonds
2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered


[1] Cut the aubergines into 1 cm (1/2 inch cubes. Sprinkle with salt, put into a colander, cover and leave for 1 hour. Rinse and dry with kitchen paper.

[2] Cook the celery in boiling water for 6 to 8 minutes. Drain and cut into 1 cm (1/2 inch) cubes.

[3] Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a large frying pan, add the aubergine and fry quickly, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes until tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

[4] Heat the remaining oil in a large pan, add the onion and fry gently for 5 minutes. Add the celery and fry, stirring, for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato purée and a little salt and pepper. Simmer gently until the celery and onion are tender, about 5 minutes.

[5] Add 2 tablespoons vinegar, the sugar, capers, olives and aubergine. Simmer for a few minutes, stirring. Adjust the seasoning and add extra vinegar if necessary. Cool, then cover and chill until required.

[6] Garnish with nuts and egg quarters to serve.

Serves 4