The Sicilian caponata is a starter but also a side dish. Its history, the authentic recipe and even the etymology of the word are surrounded by a veil of mystery. There are several strands of thought about the etymology of the word caponata: some say it derives from the term "Capone," a now known fish such as dolphinfish , which together with the typical sweet and sour sauce a plate of caponata was widespread in aristocratic kitchens. Today the caponata is widespread in its vegetarian version, where the fish gurnard was ably replaced by fresh eggplants. Some people, however, argues that the word derives from caponata "caupone", the name used to refer to the ancient Taverni of sailors, from the Latin caupona that just means tavern.
400 grams of eggplant 1-2 medium onions 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 stalks of celery, diced 1 hand of black olives 180 grams of tomatoes or tomato paste 1 pinch of chili 2 tablespoons salted capers 3 tablespoons of vinegar 1 teaspoon sugar pepper and salt as needed
Cut the eggplant and onion into small cubes and pour the oil in a frying pan, add the eggplant and onion and cook for 15 minutes until they become soft. Add a little 'of water to prevent sticking.
When cooked add the celery (cooked previously in another pan), tomatoes, chili.
Cook for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Finally add rinsed capers, olives, vinegar, sugar, pepper and salt until the cooking will not be completed.
You can also add to the recipe zucchini and peppers.
The caponata can be served cold or hot depending on your taste.