Caponata di Carciofi (Sweet and sour artichokes stew)
A caponata featuring fresh artichokes, perfect to make in the spring when fresh artichokes are in season. Caponata is typically served as an appetizer or a side dish, at room temperature or cold. Be sure to make the tomato sauce ahead of time.
1 1/2 lbs small artichokes, 20 small artichokes about 1 – 1.5 oz each
1/4 cup Olive oil
3 stalks celery, about 1 cup chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 cup tomato sauce (see attached recipe)
One tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons capers, rinsed well
1/ 4 cup chopped green olives
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
Salt and pepper
Fill a bowl with cold water and squeeze the juice of a lemon into the water.
Clean the artichokes by removing the outer leaves, until you see pale yellow leaves. Trim the stem and cut off the top of the artichoke and discard. Cut in quarters for small artichokes or slice about 1/4 inch thick lengthwise. Place in the bowl of water and lemon juice. Continue until all the artichokes have been cleaned.
Place two tablespoons of the olive oil in a large heavy duty saucepan, add the drained artichokes and stir for few minutes. Add 1/2 cup of warm water. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes until the water is evaporated and the artichokes are tender, but not fully cooked.
Remove the artichokes from the pot and set aside. Add the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the celery and onion until soft and translucent, add the artichokes and salt to taste. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, capers and olives. Continue cooking for about 10 minutes until the artichokes are soft and fully cooked stirring occasionally. Add the vinegar and sugar and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Taste for salt and pepper.
The caponata should have a sweet and sour flavor. Use more wine vinegar or sugar to adjust the balance. Transfer to a bowl and let it cool.
Serve at room temperature or refrigerate overnight and serve cold.
Copyright 2015, Rosetta Costantino. All rights reserved.