This is my family recipe for Caponata. I am going to make it for our open studios event which is on Friday. My family is from Cirella, a small village in Calabria, Italy. Cirella is close to Plati, and some of my family is from there as well.

Most of the food in Cirella is a mix between Italian and Greek, because of the heavy Greek influence. In Cirella, Griko is spoken, which is a hybrid language between the two cultures. However, Cirella is its own special place, and has a taste all of its own. This recipe is the Calabrian version of the dish, but there are many variations of caponata throughout the Mediterranean.

  • 2 medium eggplants (cut into 1-inch cubes)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (or a bit more)
  • 2 onions sliced
  • 1can tomatoes (16oz) chopped with liquid ( I use overripe tomatoes instead of canned).
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 1/2 cup sliced pimiento stuffed olives
  • 1 can sliced ripe black olives
  • 2 tbs. capers
  • 3tbs.sugar
  • 1/2 cup wine vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper

In a large skillet, saute eggplant in very hot oil for about 10 min. or until soft and slightly brown. Transfer eggplant with slotted spoon to large saucepan. Reduce heat under skillet and saute onions about 3 min., adding a little oil if necessary. When onions are golden brown, add tomatoes and celery. Simmer about 15 min, or until celery is tender. Add olives and capers. Dissolve sugar in vinegar in small saucepan. Stir into eggplant. Cover and simmer over medium heat 30min. stirring occasionally. Remove from heat: cool. Refrigerate overnight. Serve at room temperature over crusty bread

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