Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Caponata Siciliana the vegetarian heaven (paleo, dairy free, gluten free, and keto)

      Yummy, one of my favorite dish.
     Caponata is a warm side for the most delicious antipasto. It's an eggplant stew that can be used in a variety of ways. It does make a great vegetarian main dish, it's also used a side dish or than place some spoons on a home made bread. Caponata has that Sicilian affinity for agrodolce - sweet and sour. 
       I am a meat lover but this do not means that I do not introducing one or two vegetarian day in my week. I know people from Mediterranean areas has a lot of vegetarian dishes, hence I thought to open an Italian recipe book and try some vegetarian dishes. 
       The original recipe calls for red belle pepper, but I forgot to buy so I added some sliced carrots.
       I am sure it will be perfect also in your lunch box.

olive oil
2 large aubergines, cut into 2cm cubes
2 long shallots, chopped
4 large plum tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp capers, soaked if salted
4 celery sticks, sliced
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar

3 garlic cloves
1 large onion
handful toasted pine nuts and basil leaves

1. Place the aubergine in a sifter, drizzle with 1 tbsp salt and let it aside for 1 hour. 

2. The onions have to be cut in very thin slices not just chopped. 

3. Place the celery, sliced carrot and onions in a pan with 1 tbsp oil, 5-6 minutes giving the pan a shake every now and then.

4. The eggplants is supposed to be deep fried separately before adding them to the rest, until they are golden on each side. and need to be kept for a while on a paper to drain and drip off the excess oil. Once the aubergines are almost dry place the eggplants into pan near the carrot and onion and stir it. (The reason for this is that each ingredient has its own consistency, so the cooking time varies from one to the other).

5. Throw in the drained capers and the olives and drizzle over the vinegar. When all the vinegar has evaporated, (your nose will tell you) add the tomatoes and simmer for around 15 minutes or until tender. 

6.Do not exaggerate with tomatoes and tomato sauce. They are used also to give a bit of color and taste but mainly to blend the ingredients and tastes together 

7. Drizzle with some good olive oil and serve sprinkled with the chopped basil leaves and the pine nuts if you like.



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