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How to Make Eggplant Caponata (Sicilian Version) Recipe

A traditional Sicilian dish that highlights the vibrant tastes of the Mediterranean is eggplant caponata. With the addition of eggplant, tomatoes, olives, and capers, this meal resembles a savory relish with a sweet undertone. The textures and flavors come together beautifully. For a delicious flavor of Sicily, serve it as a side dish or as an appetizer with crusty bread.

Eggplant Caponata (Sicilian Version)


  1. 1/2 cup green olives, pitted and chopped;
  2. 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  3. 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  4. 1 big eggplant, diced
  5. 1 onion, finely chopped
  6. 2 celery stalks finely chopped
  7. 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
  8. Two tablespoons tomato paste
  9. One spoonful of sugar
  10. 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts, 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, and minced garlic cloves
  11. To taste, add salt and black pepper.
  12. Use olive oil for cooking.


Step 1: Prepare the Eggplant

After chopping, put the eggplant in a colander and season with salt. Give it a half hour or so to let the extra moisture evaporate. After 30 minutes, give the eggplant a good rinse and use paper towels to pat dry.

Step 2: Sauté the Vegetables

  • Heat the olive oil in a big skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the chopped celery and onion. After around five minutes, sauté until softened.
  • When aromatic, add the minced garlic and sauté for a further one to two minutes.

Step 3: Cook the Eggplant

  • To the skillet, add the chopped, dry eggplant.
  • Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring periodically, or until the eggplant is soft and golden brown.

Step 4: Add Tomatoes and Tomato Paste

  • Add the tomato paste and the drained diced tomatoes and stir.
  • Simmer for a further five minutes to let the flavors combine.

Step 5: Sweeten with Sugar

  • After adding the sugar, thoroughly whisk the mixture.
  • This lessens the tomatoes’ acidic content.

Step 6: Introduce Vinegar

  • Add the red wine vinegar and mix until well combined.
  • Simmer for a further two to three minutes.

Step 7: Incorporate Olives, Capers, and Nuts

  • Toss in the drained capers, chopped green olives, and roasted pine nuts in the skillet.
  • Mix thoroughly to blend.

Step 8: Season and Simmer

  1. To taste, add a little salt and black pepper to the caponata.
  2. To let the flavors combine, simmer the mixture for a further 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 9: Add Fresh Herbs

  1. Add the parsley and freshly chopped basil and stir.
  2. Simmer for a further two to three minutes.

Step 10: Serve and Enjoy

  1. Take the skillet off of the burner.
  2. Before serving, let the caponata to cool somewhat.
  3. If preferred, top with more fresh herbs and serve chilled or at room temperature.


Prepare Ahead: The next day’s caponata tastes even better. Think about preparing it in advance and allowing the flavors to marinade.

Personalize: You can add more ingredients to suit your taste, such as chopped bell peppers or raisins.

Storage: Remaining caponata can be kept in the fridge for up to a week if kept in an airtight container.

Serve ingeniously caponata is so adaptable. Serve it as a side dish to go with a variety of dishes, as a dip with crusty bread, or as a topping for grilled fish or chicken.

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