Sicilian Eggplant Caponata

Letโ€™s make an easy, tasty and vibrant appetizer thatโ€™s a bit sweet, a bit tangy, and full of flavor. Letโ€™s make Sicilian Eggplant Caponata and eat it too! ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ†๐Ÿคฉ

Letโ€™s gather our ingredients:

๐Ÿ† 3 medium Italian eggplants, cut into 1 inch cubes
๐Ÿ† 1 chopped onion
๐Ÿ† 1 cup chopped celery
๐Ÿ† 1 chopped red bell pepper
๐Ÿ† One (28 Oz) can of diced tomatoes
๐Ÿ† ยผ cup raisins
๐Ÿ† ยผ cup capers
๐Ÿ† 1/3 cup pine nuts
๐Ÿ† ยฝ cup sliced green olives
๐Ÿ† 1 teaspoon sugar
๐Ÿ† 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
๐Ÿ† 3 tablespoons olive oil
๐Ÿ† 2 tablespoons grape vinegar
๐Ÿ† Salt and Pepper to taste

๐Ÿ† First, cut the eggplant in to 1 inch cubes. Place it in a colander, sprinkle it with some salt, cover it with a plate and put something heavy on top of it; so all this bitter water in the eggplant can be drained. Place the colander on top of a bowl and set it aside until you prepare the rest of the ingredients. 
๐Ÿ† After about one hour, rinse the eggplant and pat it dry with paper towel. Arrange it in one layer on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, spray it with olive oil and bake it in a 350F preheated oven until itโ€™s 90% cooked. Take out of the oven and set aside.
๐Ÿ† In a deep skillet, heat some olive oil. Sautรฉ chopped onion, celery, and pepper for about 5 minutes, until theyโ€™re translucent. Add the roasted eggplant and a pinch of red chili flakes. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the raisins, canned diced tomatoes, brown sugar, cocoa powder, salt and pepper. Give everything a good mix, reduce heat to medium, cover pan and cook for about 10 minutes, until all the veggies are cooked and the stew is nice and thick.
๐Ÿ† Lastly, add the capers, green olives and pine nuts. Mix well and taste to make sure it doesnโ€™t need more salt or pepper.

Serve as an appetizer with hot crusty Italian bread or over pasta.
P.S โœจ This dish tastes a million times better the next day, so try to make it a day or two ahead โœจ

Buon Appetito! ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡นโ™ฅ๏ธ

Enjoy! ๐Ÿ‘ฉ๐Ÿปโ€๐Ÿณ๐Ÿ‘Œ๐Ÿป



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