For those looking to eat a bit less meat and dive into more veggies, this Sicilian cod caponata is yet another authentic Italian recipe from my Nonna’s recipe book.
However, I’ve reinvented the Italian cod caponata, making it easier and faster to make.
Why You will ♥ love Sicilian cod caponata
Don’t worry I am not here to hard-sell you on this recipe, because you either are looking for traditional Italian recipes and love seafood and Italian caponata or you don’t!
For those that love eggplant, capers, celery, onions, and tomato sauce, combined, you already love caponata, as it’s referred to in Italian.
Sometimes my family even adds carrots, pan-toasted pignoli nuts, raisins, and/or figs and raisins into our caponata.
Sicilian cod caponata is a refrigerator vegetable drawer’s best friend
If you buy vegetables non-stop and are if they are any of those listed above, especially the eggplant you forgot to use this recipe is your official refrigerator veggie drawer cleanout!
All in all, you’ll find a medley of vegetables that cook down and blend seamlessly, creating an excellent flavor that does not overpower any dish it is introduced into.
Which makes Italian caponata perfection in my Sicilian cod caponata entree.
The meat and potatoes of Sicilian Cod Caponata
Cod is the seafood you will be using for this recipe.
Traditionally (but I can’t promise) cod is generally less expensive than most other seafood, such as salmon and orange roughy, etc.
For that reason, you might also like to prepare this seafood dish.
However, the white cod that we use is always mild, which is what I love about COD and this dish.
The authentic taste of the Italian caponata swirls throughout the entire entree and offers a robust, deep flavor and the perfect vegetable blend to serve with cod as prepared.
Prep for the cod fillets for Sicilian cod caponata
Each fillet will be brushed with olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper.
Both sides of the fillets will be prepared in that manner.
To prepare the seafood, you’ll be roasting it in your oven.
In about 13 minutes, you’ll have opaque and flaky cod, but don’t cook beyond this point or you’ve ruined the cod fillets.
It’s also good to know that you will be cutting the cod fillets into smaller pieces, and not using large portions, because when combined with the caponata this becomes a heavy, filling and very satisfying meal where the focus is not on the lean protein but more the vegetables.
Tips for serving Silician Cod Caponata
I’ll keep the tips simple and sweet because these are helpful, need to know items.
- when plating this dish, I suggest pasta bowls as the caponata is bowl-worthy.
- also, some nice chunky, hard-crusted Italian bread of french baguettes are perfect to scoop up whatever your fork or spoon can’t get to. In other words, leave nothing behind! Mmm!
- spoons work well for the caponata portion
- forks are great or flaking cod throughout the caponata.
- break the cod fillet into the caponata and mix it all up, it’s so good that way.
- don’t forget to dance parmesan cheese across this to really enhance all the flavor of the dish.
- leftovers need to be refrigerated.
- if there are leftover, the flavor of the caponata deepens, but I woujld store the seafood separately so as to not allow the seafood to create a strong seafood flavor throughout the vegetable mixture.
1 More side note about the vegetable portion of this dish
You could prepare the caponata the day before and just reheat it.
It’s a shortcut, and it also can be used as a meal all on its own!
Recipe for Sicilian Cod Caponata
- 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 medium white onion, diced
- 2 large celery stalks, diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium eggplant, peeled and cubed
- 2 medium tomatoes, diced
- 2 T. tomato paste
- 1 c. tomato passata*
- 3 T. red wine vinegar
- 2 T. capers
- ¼ c. green olives, pitted and sliced
- ¼ c. raisins
- 4 6-oz. cod fillets
- 3 T. fresh parsley leaves, chopped, divided
- 3 T. sliced almonds, toasted, divided
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a
Silpat® baking mat. Set aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add the onion and celery, and season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
- Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is soft and translucent, approximately 4-5
- Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet, along with the garlic and eggplant.
- Cook, stirring occasionally until the eggplant begins to cook down, around 6-7 minutes
- Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, passata, vinegar, capers, green olives, and raisins.
- Stir to combine and cover the skillet with a lid.
- Reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, lightly brush each cod fillet with the remaining olive oil and season with salt and black pepper on both sides.
- Place the fillets on the prepared baking sheet and place them in the preheated oven to roast until the fish
turns opaque and flakes easily with a fork, approximately 12-13 minutes. (Test after 10 minutes. Do not overcook)
- Remove lid and stir in two tablespoons each of the fresh parsley and the toasted almonds into the caponata.
- Taste and adjust seasonings, as desired.
- Transfer to individual serving plates and garnish with remaining parsley and almonds.
- Serve immediately with the cod fillets. Enjoy!
*: Substitute strained tomatoes if passata is not available.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 317Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 380mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 5gSugar: 11gProtein: 29g