Make a unique and delicious appetizer with just four ingredients!
Caponata is a savory, eggplant based Sicilian vegetable salad that’s typically served as an appetizer or side dish. I remember being a little kid and trying it for the first time on Christmas Eve at my Grandparent’s house and thinking that it was absolutely magical, especially on a nice crunchy Triscut. Those memories made me think about how I could combine the complex flavors of caponata with some something savory and crunchy. Then one day at the Asian market while snapping up a few packages of gyoza wrappers I started to wonder if somehow combining the two would work. And hey, it did! And bonus, it makes enough to comfortably serve four or five people as an appetizer. The recipe can be doubled or tripled for a a bigger crowd.
Supplies needed to make these shouldn’t be too hard to find.
Gyoza wrappers can be easily be located at Asian markets and some specialty stores, though you can also use wonton or dumpling wrappers, both of which are readily available at most grocery stores in the refrigerated or frozen food section. If you’re vegan make sure to read the package carefully because many (but not all) brands include eggs. You’ll also need a small, hand held dumpling press. I got mine for about $5 at Bed, Bath and Beyond, but I’ve also spotted these in the gadget section at the supermarket and even at the dollar store.
What You’ll Need:
- 7 oz. Can of Caponata (I used Cento brand)
- Gyoza Wrappers
- Olive Oil
- Sea Salt
Open the can of caponata and grab a strainer as well as a bowl that will fit under the strainer. Dump the entire can into the strainer and wait about 10 minutes. The point of doing this is to strain the contents and get as much of the liquid out as possible. Discard the liquid in the bowl.
Next you’ll grab a package of gyoza wrappers and a small dish of water, along with a small pastry brush if you have one. Place one wrapper onto the center of your dumpling press and add a small scoop of the caponata…roughly about 3/4 of a tablespoon per dumpling. Dip your pointer finger or a small pastry brush into some water and “paint” around the edges of the gyoza wrapper. This will help the dumpling to hold its seal. Squeeze the dumpling wrapper shut and viola! Your first Caponata Gyoza dumpling. Repeat this process until you run out of caponata and or gyoza wrappers.
Put the completed Caponata Gyoza onto plates or trays, taking care not to stack them on top of each other.
Coat the bottom of a large nonstick or stainless steel pan with a generous amount of olive oil. Heat the pan over medium heat, and once the pan is hot, gently begin placing Caponata Gyoza into the oil. Gently flip them over once with a spatula to coat both sides and to help prevent sticking. Make sure that they are not crowded, and allow them to cook until they turn golden brown on one side. Then flip them over and allow the other side to brown as well. Once they have, carefully remove them from heat and place them onto a plate with some paper towels on it. This will allow the oil to drip off of them so that they are nice and crispy but not oily. Repeat until you’re done cooking all of the dumplings. Sprinkle them with a light pinch of sea salt as soon as they are done pan frying and serve.