Incredible Sicilian aubergine stew

Incredible Sicilian aubergine stew

In the sun-soaked land of Sicily, where history whispers through ancient ruins and the scent of the sea dances in the air, culinary traditions run deep. Among the myriad of Sicilian dishes that capture the essence of the island’s flavors, one stands out for its simplicity, heartiness, and irresistible taste: Sicilian Aubergine Stew.

Aubergine, also known as eggplant, holds a cherished place in Sicilian cuisine. Its versatility allows it to be transformed into myriad dishes, but perhaps none showcase its rich flavor and velvety texture quite like Sicilian Aubergine Stew. This dish is a celebration of local produce, combining eggplant with tomatoes, onions, garlic, and a medley of aromatic herbs to create a symphony of flavors that tantalize the taste buds and warm the soul.

The recipe for Sicilian Aubergine Stew varies from household to household, each cook adding their own personal touch to this beloved dish. However, certain key ingredients and techniques remain constant, ensuring that every spoonful is a taste of Sicilian tradition.

To start, ripe, glossy eggplants are sliced and soaked in salted water to draw out any bitterness, a step that is essential in Sicilian cuisine. Meanwhile, onions and garlic are sautéed in fragrant olive oil until golden and caramelized, infusing the stew with a depth of flavor that is quintessentially Sicilian.

Once the onions and garlic have worked their magic, the eggplant is added to the pot, along with fresh tomatoes, chopped parsley, and a generous sprinkling of Sicilian oregano. This herb, with its intense aroma and slightly bitter taste, is a staple in Sicilian cooking and adds a distinct flavor to the stew.

As the ingredients simmer together, they meld into a rich and hearty stew, the eggplant softening to melt-in-your-mouth perfection while the tomatoes break down into a luscious sauce. The aroma that fills the kitchen is irresistible, promising a meal that is both comforting and satisfying.

While Sicilian Aubergine Stew is delicious on its own, it is often served with crusty bread or a side of couscous, allowing diners to soak up every last drop of the flavorful sauce. Some cooks may also add a sprinkling of grated ricotta salata or pecorino cheese on top, adding a creamy, salty note that complements the dish beautifully.

Beyond its delicious taste, Sicilian Aubergine Stew is a celebration of Sicily’s agricultural abundance and culinary heritage. The use of fresh, locally sourced ingredients speaks to the island’s commitment to sustainability and seasonality, while the simple yet flavorful preparation highlights the skill and creativity of Sicilian cooks.

For those looking to experience the true essence of Sicilian cuisine, a bowl of Aubergine Stew is a must-try. Whether enjoyed on a sun-drenched terrace overlooking the Mediterranean or in the comfort of your own home, each spoonful offers a taste of Sicily’s rich culinary tapestry, a tradition that has been passed down through generations and continues to delight food lovers around the world.


  • 2 large eggplants (aubergines), sliced into rounds or cubes
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 large tomatoes, diced (or 1 can of diced tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (preferably Sicilian oregano)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Grated ricotta salata or pecorino cheese for serving (optional)
  • Crusty bread or couscous for serving


  1. Begin by preparing the eggplant. Place the sliced or cubed eggplant in a large bowl and sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons of salt. Toss to coat evenly and let sit for about 30 minutes. This helps to draw out any bitterness from the eggplant. After 30 minutes, rinse the eggplant thoroughly with water and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes, until fragrant.
  3. Add the prepared eggplant to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant begins to soften and turn golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Once the eggplant is golden brown, add the diced tomatoes, chopped parsley, and dried oregano to the pot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  5. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the stew simmer for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is tender and the flavors have melded together.
  6. Once the stew is ready, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. If desired, sprinkle grated ricotta salata or pecorino cheese on top before serving.
  7. Serve the Sicilian Aubergine Stew hot, accompanied by crusty bread or couscous to soak up the delicious sauce.

Enjoy this comforting and flavorful dish that embodies the essence of Sicilian cuisine!

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