Recipe: Caponata

  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 fresh or 2 (9-ounce) packages frozen artichoke hearts, cut into rough dice
  • 1 ½ cups finely diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 1 /4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup drained capers
  • 4 ounces pitted Greek or Sicilian black olives, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups tomatoes diced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • ¼ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large sauté pan and set on medium-high heat until sizzling, about 2 minutes. Add the artichokes and cook until browned, about 3 minutes on each side.

2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer artichokes to a bowl, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible. Reduce heat to medium, add the remaining 3 tablespoons oil and the onion, stir until well coated and cook for 5-8 minutes. Add the garlic, celery, red pepper flakes, capers and olives and cook for 3-5 minutes. Stir in the tomato sauce and basil, heat until the sauce is bubbling and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the cocoa powder and cooked artichokes and simmer 5-8 minutes.

3. In a small saucepan on high heat, boil the vinegar and sugar until reduced by half and quite syrupy, about 2 minutes. Stir into the cooked vegetables and simmer on very low heat for 3-5 minutes.

4. Transfer caponata to a bowl and refrigerate overnight.

serve chilled, or at room temperature.

perfectly paired with a godello wine, or a petite verdot!


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