Caponata is the cornerstone of Sicilian cuisine! Every household in Sicily have their own version of the Caponata but the taste is delicious everywhere! The way the eggplants explode with flavor, and the other ingredients – carrots, zucchini, and roasted hazelnuts keep the dish bright and crunchy is simply amazing.
If you are looking for a culinary trip to Sicily without moving from your kitchen then grab the ingredients and we will take to the Sicilian countryside one bite at the time. Our recipe today features a simple version of the Caponata, paired with chickpeas couscous and some crunchy toasted hazelnuts on top.
Recipe by Sara Bonaccorsi
Here is how to prepare it:
- Preparation: 5 minutes
- Cooking: 25 minutes
- Portions: 5 people
For the couscous
- 200 grams of Martino’s Chickpea CousCous
- 200 ml of Water
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 5 grams of Salt
For the Caponata:
- ½ Onion
- 2 Carrots
- 1 Eggplant
- 2 Zucchini
- 4 tbsp
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil as needed
- 40 grams of Roasted Hazelnuts
- 30 ml Dry White Wine
- Salt as needed
Preparing the Caponata
Prepare the vegetables:
After you have thoroughly washed all the vegetables begin by finely slicing the onion and dice 2 carrots, 1 eggplant, 1 potato, and 2 zucchinis.
Cook the vegetables:
In a non-stick frying pan over medium heat add extra virgin olive oil and when it is warm toss the sliced onions and diced carrots inside. Let them cook for about 3 minutes until the onions become golden brown.
When ready add the rest of the vegetable and sauté them for a couple more minutes. Pour 30 ml of dry white wine, season with salt according to your preference and the vegetables cook slowly for about 15 minutes adding a little bit of water when needed.
The Caponata will be ready when the vegetables are tender.
Rehydrate the chickpea couscous:
In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, pour 200 ml of water add a pinch of salt and one teaspoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Bring to a simmer.
Turn off the heat and pour evenly 200 grams Martino Chickpeas’ Couscous. Cover with a lid and let the couscous absorb all the water slowly for about 4-5 minutes. After the necessary time, fluff the couscous with the help of a fork to avoid any lumps from forming and to obtain the perfect texture.
Toast the hazelnuts
In a baking pan toast 40 grams of hazelnuts in one layer in the middle of oven 10 to 15 minutes, or until lightly colored and the skins are blistered. Wrap the nuts in a kitchen towel and let them steam for 1 minute. Rub the nuts in the towel to remove the loose skins. Chop the hazelnuts coarsely with a knife and get ready for the final touches of this dish. Of course here you can use the nuts of your own preference! Almonds are a good choice too!
In a serving bowl add the rehydrated couscous. Pour the vegetable Caponata on top and finally sprinkle on top with the toasted hazelnuts. This healthy and generous meal is ready to serve.
Caponata is best served the next day, so the ingredients and flavors have time to meld. Top with chopped flat leaf parsley or fresh mint.
As you can imagine there is plenty of room in this recipe to add your own personal touches. Experiment with new vegetables, toasted nuts and even try adding to the recipe some fresh tomato juice. In case don’t forget to subscribe to the newsletter to receive all the delicious Martino’s recipes directly in your inbox!
The surprising thing about Caponata is that it definitely improves the day after it’s made. When you first taste it, you might think, “This doesn’t quite taste like the Caponata I had in Sicily.” But put it in the refrigerator to serve the next day. When you take a bite it will have magically transformed into the most wonderful eggplant salad you can imagine. What do you think? Leave us a comment to tell us about your own Couscous Caponata experience!