Light eggplant caponata recipe is a variant of the classic Sicilian caponata. In the traditional recipe, the eggplants are fried then added to the other ingredients while in this version they are cooked in a pan with other vegetables.
The result is a dish that recalls the authentic recipe of caponata in its flavors and ingredients but less caloric.
The preparation according to the Sicilian recipe is very simple and can also be enriched with other vegetables, such as peppers.
So let’s show you how to make a light eggplant caponata.
How to Make Light Eggplant Caponata Recipe
- 1 kg (2.2 lb) of eggplant (about 3 large)
- 1 large white onion (about 150 g / 5 oz)
- 300 g (10 oz) of celery ribs
- 100 g (3.5 oz) of salted capers
- 200 g (7 oz) of pitted olives (green, black or both)
- 50 g (1,7 oz) of pine nuts
- 150 ml of tomato passata
- extra virgin olive oil
- 60 g (2 oz) of white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- salt and pepper
If you want to follow the traditional recipe cut the eggplants into pieces and fry them in plenty of frying oil using a non-stick pan. As soon as they are golden brown, set them aside on paper towels to remove excess oil.
If you want to make the light recipe then don’t fry the eggplants and follow the recipe below.
Step 1) – Cut the eggplants into large cubes then place them in a colander. Sprinkle with salt and leave them to drain for about 1 hour (in this way they will lose the characteristic bitter taste). Then wash the eggplants under running water and dry them thoroughly. Set aside.
Step 2) – Now cut the onion and celery into slices and place them in a rather large frying pan with 3 tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil. Simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now add the eggplants and a few tablespoons of oil to your liking (the eggplants absorb a lot of oil at the beginning but then release it during cooking, so don’t overdo it). Season with salt and pepper to taste, stir and simmer covered with a lid on a low heat for about 15-20 minutes.
Step 3) – Meanwhile, wash the capers so that they lose the excess salt, then chop them finely. Now add capers and olives.
Step 4) – Then add the tomato passata, stir and simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, dissolve the sugar in the vinegar.
Step 5) – Now add the pine nuts and the sweet and sour sauce. Mix, raise the heat and stir until the vinegar scent has evaporated. Turn off the flame, the caponata is ready (if you have fried the eggplants, this is the time to add them to the vegetables).
Step 6) – Mix everything well, transfer the caponata to a serving dish and place it in the fridge because the peculiarity of the caponata is that it must be served cold or at room temperature: eaten the next day will be even better!
The Best Way to Eat Caponata
If one day you come to Italy, maybe to Sicily, and you’ll eat caponata you’ll discover that it is served cold. Because in Italy it’s eaten this way.
So keep it in the refrigerator, even for 2 or 3 days, closed in a food container and then enjoy it as an appetizer or as a side dish.
You can eat caponata as a vegetarian main dish with slices of fresh homemade bread or served as side dish of a fish or meat. Finally eat light eggplant caponata as an appetizer, in small single portion glasses or on slices of toasted bread.