Winter Squash Caponata

30 minutes prep 30 minutes active cooking 1 hour total
Makes 6 - 8 servings

Using winter squash instead of eggplant for this classic Sicilian dish wasn't my idea, but it's a really good one.

The sweet and sour flavor, called agrodolce in Italian, reflects the North African and Spanish influences on Sicilian food.

What You'll Need

Ingredients

For the shopping list

  • 1 Winter Squash
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 2 Celery stalks
  • 2-3 cloves of Garlic
  • 1/2 cup Green Olives
  • Parsley

From our shop

Out of stock

As needed  Madre Terra
$25.00– Sicily - Italy
Out of stock

2 tablespoons of  Capers in Sea Salt
$17.00– Pantelleria - Sicily
(optional)
2 tablespoons of  Double Concentrated Tomato Paste
$6.00– Naples - Italy
2 tablespoons of  Trio Red Wine Vinegar
$15.00– Napa - California
2 tablespoons of  Okinawan Brown Sugar
$9.00– Hatermuma Island - Japan
2 pinches of  Oregano
$9.00– Pantelleria - Sicily
1 pinch of  Italian Fine Sea Salt
$7.00– Trapani - Sicily

Equipment

From the kitchen

  • 1 Chef Knife
  • 1 Mixing Bowl
  • 1 Heavy Skillet

What you'll have to do

Step 1

I think the big, pumpkiny varieties taste better, but you can make this with any winter squash. Cut it into roughly 3/4 inch chunks; you want about 3 cups. Drizzle with olive oil and bake at 350F for about 25 minutes or until tender.

Step 2

While the squash bakes, soak a couple of tablespoons of Pantellerian salted capers in cold water for about 15 minutes, then drain.

Step 3

Chop a red onion and a couple of celery stalks; cook them in olive oil with a good pinch of sea salt for about 5 minutes. Push the vegetables to the side of the skillet and add about 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. Let it cook for a minute or two, then add 2-3 cloves of chopped garlic.

Step 4

Add the cooked squash, the capers, and a handful of coarsely chopped green olives. Stir in a splash (2 tablespoons or so) of red wine vinegar and a couple tablespoons of Okinawan Brown Sugar.

Step 5

Cook gently for another 15 minutes to let the flavors blend, then sprinkle with a few pinches of Pantellerian oregano. Adding a handful of chopped fresh mint leaves would be appropriate, but use Italian parsley if you can’t find mint.

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