The Sicilian way to cook eggplant is not at all like Russian. They are made with vinegar and sugar, mixed with other summer vegetables. The addition of these strange ingredients is not associated with a developed taste for gourmet food, or a passion for oriental sweet and sour cuisine. The reasons are completely different: sugar and vinegar are the components with which vegetable sauces were traditionally preserved here, which were then used throughout the whole year for literally everything in a row – from seafood to vegetables, which we deal with in this case. This taste became familiar for dishes of this region and sugar and vinegar were added to those dishes that were not planned to be stored for a long time.
In order to use this cooking method correctly, you need to remember an important thing: caramelizing in sugar, the eggplants soak and lose their taste and shape, so that this does not happen before cooking they must be generously sprinkled with salt. It draws moisture and helps maintain flavor. Eggplant will turn cream inside with a light crust on the outside.
- 1 kg of eggplant, cut into large cubes with a side of about 2 cm
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped into pieces
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 170 gr pitted green olives, cut in half
- 100 gr capers
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp Sahara
- 100 gr crushed roasted almonds
- freshly ground black pepper – to taste
- olive oil for frying and sprinkling the finished dish
Place chopped eggplant in a colander, sprinkle with plenty of salt and mix. Let the eggplants stand for 30 minutes, then rinse them with cold water to wash off the salt. Gently squeeze the eggplants to remove moisture, dry them with a paper towel. Heat the olive well in a large skillet, and then add the eggplant and sauté for about 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to remove the eggplants from the pan and transfer them to paper towels. It is necessary for the oil to absorb the frying paper.
Reduce the heat under the pan, put the celery and onions in it, and fry for about 6 minutes. After this, add the olives and capers and cook for another 2 minutes. After that, you need to add tomato paste and let the vegetables stand on the fire for another 2 minutes. Now pour the vinegar and add sugar and cook for 3 minutes.
Transfer vegetables to a large bowl, add eggplant and almonds, season with salt and pepper. Pour olive oil on top.