Italian Language Blog

Luisa’s Caponata Posted by on May 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

Caponata is a fabulous vegetable stew in a sweet and sour tomato sauce, but unfortunately it’s a real calories and cholesterol bomb. However, a few days ago I was talking to my friend Luisa, who is from Sicily, the original home of this dish, and she told me that she had recently learned a variation on the traditional caponata, which is much healthier and easier to make, but still tastes as good as the original. Here’s the recipe for Luisa’s healthy caponata:

Ingredienti: Ingredients:
1 peperone 1 pepper
1 melanzana 1 aubergine
1 patata 1 potato
1 cipolla 1 onion
1 gambo di sedano 1 celery stalk
1 carota 1 carrot
4 pomodori maturi 4 ripe tomatoes
1 cucchiaio di capperi 1 tablespoon of capers
2 cucchiai di olive nere (possibilmente denocciolate) 2 tablespoons of black olives (possibly stoned)
2-3 cucchiai di aceto balsamico 2-3- tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
olio extravergine d’oliva extra virgin olive oil
sale salt
2 cucchiaini di zucchero 2 teaspoons of sugar
1 ciuffetto di menta fresca 1 sprig of fresh mint

Optional: You can add a leek and a courgette, if you like.

... or, you could simply put this painting by Arcimboldo in the oven, sprinkle with fresh mint, and serve hot ... buon appetito!

… or, you could simply put this painting by Arcimboldo in the oven, sprinkle with fresh mint, and serve hot … buon appetito!


Preheat the oven to 200°C and oil a large baking tray.

Rinse the capers and squeeze them dry.

Peel and slice the onion.

Peel and seed the tomatoes, put them in a colander to drain, then chop them into small cubes.

Prepare all the other vegetables (pepper, aubergine, celery, carrot, potato, including courgette and leek if you are using them) by peeling them and removing seeds, stringy and hard bits, and then chopping them in small cubes.

Put all the prepared vegetables on the baking tray, and add the black olives and capers. Sprinkle with salt and olive oil, mixing everything together.

Put the baking tray in the preheated oven, and let it cook for about 1 hour, turning the vegetables from time to time, so that they’ll cook evenly.

When all the vegetables are cooked, sprinkle them with the balsamic vinegar and sugar, adjusting to taste. Put the baking tray back into the oven for a few more minutes until the vinegar has evaporated.

Serve cold sprinkled with fresh mint. It tastes even better if made in advance.

If you would like to make the real caponata, here is a good recipe you could try: Accademia Barilla Caponata. However, as with all traditional recipes, there are many variations on this one.

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