Here’s another cold dish which is perfect during midsummer time. Summer heat is still intense in August and we tend to prefer fresh and even tasty and light dishes. Rice timbales in this dish, made with lots of fresh basil leaves and olive oil, combine beautifully with a nontraditional caponata, prepared without the peppers, in order to make the dish lighter.
Caponata is a typical Sicilian dish that is traditionally served during Christmas time. There are many versions depending on the ingredients you use, the most popular is the one with peppers and eggplants. It is usually served as a side dish or as an appetizer, it becomes a complete meal (single course) if served with bread and it is also excellent as a sauce to be served with pasta. Caponata is delicious and great when served cold.
The right wine: Contessa Entellina Red, a wine with a ruby red colour, an intense aroma and a dry and velvety flavour.
Here’s the recipe:
Rice 200 g (7.05 oz)
Black olives 100 g (3.53 oz)
4 tomatoes pulp
Sticks of celery 2
Capers 1 tablespoon
Vinegar 2 tablespoons
Olive Oil to taste
Basil leaves 6-7
Sugar 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste
Ground pepper to taste
Cut the eggplants into cubes, dip them into cold salted water to prevent from turning black, cut the onion into wafer-thin slices and the celery into little cubic pieces.
Put a little oil in a pan and sauté the onion then add the eggplants (photo 2), after having squeezed them.
Sauté a few minutes then add celery, the chopped tomatoes pulp, olives, capers and sugar (photo 3). Cook for one minute then season with salt and pepper and let it cook by adding a few tablespoons of water if necessary (photo 4).
Meanwhile cook the rice in plenty salted water, drain and season it with a drizzle of olive oil and the chopped basil leaves. Mix well then pour the rice into 4 caramel cream moulds (photo 1) and place it in the refrigerator. At serving time, take the rice out of the mould, place it on 4 dishes, sprinkle with a little ground pepper and serve it with the cold caponata.