Caponata: tasty vegan sauce
I love eggplant! And not in the way ‘yeah, I like to have them now and then’ – I mean it!
Fried, on pizza, in sauces, grilled in sandwiches… they are my favorite vegetable!
Eggplant Caponata is an Italian sauce that originated in the beautiful region of Sicily, where the sun shines and eggplant and tomatoes can be grown happily. It is a traditional dish and as such, the recipe changes from village to village and from family to family, but it always maintains that one spectacular ingredient.
This vegan eggplant caponata recipe can be served as a side dish, on top of some toasted bread, as a sauce for pasta… you name it!
It is so good you can have it hot, warm or room temperature, in summer or in winter; you get the drill… a perfect all-rounder!
Eggplant is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals and it is said to help with digestion.
But this is not all; Egg plant has been linked to: increased brain function, improved bone and heart health, assistance with cholesterol levels, improved skin appearance… and so many others.
Although eggplant originated in India, it has spread so much across Europe I can’t think of a Mediterranean nation that doesn’t enjoy it one way or another.
Caponata is one of the ways this great vegetable is used and here’s my version, which is straightforward, it removes pine nuts and raisins (not a big fan of raisins and they have quite a bit of sugar and calories!), but it maintains the flavor and versatility. Hope you enjoy it!
- 10 Sprays Cooking Spray
- 370 g Eggplant cubed (that is the weight of about one medium/large eggplant)
- 50 g Thinly Chopped Onion
- 10 g Fresh Garlic Chopped
- Salt and Black Pepper to taste
- 20 Pitted Green Olives
- 1 Tbsp Capers in Brine Drained
- 500 g Tomato Passata
- Basil Leaves to Taste
- In a large frying pan (for which you have a lid), spray the cooking spray and warm-up; once warm add the eggplant, onion, and garlic and cook on medium heat until the eggplant cubes are nearly cooked. The time required will mainly depend on the size of the cubes and of the pan; I normally chop the eggplant into 1 cm cubes and use a pan big enough that it only fills up about 3-4 cm and it takes me 15 minutes approximately.
- While the eggplant cubes are cooking, roughly chop the green olives and wash the basil leaves, and set aside.
- Once the eggplant pieces are nearly cooked, add the salt, pepper, capers, and green olives, mix well and then add the 500g of passata and one cup of water (I usually put the water in the passata box to ‘clean the tomato out’).
- Bring to the boil, put the lid on, and leave to simmer on low heat for about 20-30 minutes or until the passata is cooked and you reach the consistency you like.
- Once ready, sprinkle the basil leaves on top, mix and serve.