Sicilian Eggplant and Tuna Salad (Caponata alla Siciliana)

Eggplant is an extremely popular vegetable in Sicily, used in scores of ways, and sweet-and-sour flavors, as in this salad, are common to the island's cuisine. A full-bodied white wine makes the perfect companion for this salad, but best to choose one without blatant oak influence, like a dry Alsatian pinot gris.

Find this recipe in our cookbook, SAVEUR: Italian Comfort Food

Sicilian Eggplant and Tuna Salad
Eggplant is an extremely popular vegetable in Sicily used in scores of ways as in this salad.
Yield: serves 8

Ingredients

  • ¾ cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium eggplants, trimmed, peeled, and cut into small cubes
  • 3 stalks celery, trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium tomato, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • ¼ cups red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • ¾ cups capers
  • 1 tbsp. pine nuts
  • 1 6 oz. oil-packed tuna, drained and broken up with a fork
  • ½ bunches parsley, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large, nonreactive skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggplant and saute until golden, about 10 minutes.
  2. Transfer eggplant to a large bowl with a slotted spoon. Reduce heat to medium-low, add celery and onions to skillet, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes. Add tomatoes to skillet, if using. Cover skillet and cook 10 minutes more. Return eggplant and all the accumulated juices to skillet.
  3. Meanwhile, stir together vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves, about 1 minute, then add to eggplant. Stir capers and pine nuts into skillet, cover, and cook 5 minutes more. Remove skillet from heat and set aside to cool, then mix in tuna and parsley. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.