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Recipe: Eggplant caponata from Mazara del Vallo

Friday 10 may 2019

Typical dish of Sicilian cuisine, it was brought for the first time by the Arabs, who landed in 827 on the beaches of the village in the province of Trapani

Recipe: Eggplant caponata from Mazara del Vallo

The eggplant caponata is a typical Sicilian dish and embodies the history, aromas and vastness of the cuisine of this great island. In reality, it was the Arabs who brought the first eggplant caponata to Sicily during the landing in Mazara del Vallo. Also interesting is the popular belief linked to the origin of the name "caponata": it would seem that the wealthy lords of the time used to have a fish served in Sicily that is known as "capone" or "lampuga"; the people, being unable to afford the luxury of consuming such an expensive product, made a virtue of necessity by replacing the capone with the aubergine. It is therefore a poor dish, since the ingredients can be found easily and at a good price, and genuine, since it uses all products coming directly from the earth. It is consumed mainly in the warm months, when the aubergine is perfect and at the right point.


  • Eggplant 3
  • Celery 500 gr
  • Capers 50 gr
  • Pitted black olives 100 gr Onions 1
  • Tomato puree
  • 6 tablespoons
  • White wine vinegar 1 tablespoon
  • Salt to taste


We clean and cut the aubergines into cubes of about two centimeters and put them in a colander with some coarse salt with a pseo on top to eliminate the water of vegetation. After about 40/50 minutes, rinse them, dry them and fry them in abundant oil. Place them on absorbent paper to remove excess oil. Wash the celery, remove it and cut it into small pieces. We boil in water for 10-15 minutes, drain it and put it aside. Cut the onion into slices and stew in a little water until it has evaporated. In a pan put the boiled onion with plenty, then add the peeled and chopped tomatoes. Cook for 6-7 minutes. Add the desalted capers, boiled celery, raisins soaked in warm water and pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes. Dissolve a tablespoon of sugar in a little more than half a glass of vinegar and pour it in the pan. We add the fried aubergines and we turn everything to mix all the ingredients. Finish with the olives and cook for a minute and leave to cool, serving at room temperature.

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