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Eggplant Caponata (Sicilian Version)


95 min

Eggplant Caponata (Sicilian Version)

Eggplant Caponata (Sicilian Version) Photo 1




95 min


16 persons




4.00 rating-star (75)


Author: Victoria Bailey
Eggplant caponata is a delicious relish or appetizer that can be served hot or cold! Serve with toasted crusty bread.


  • eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes: 1 piece
  • salt to taste: 0 piece
  • olive oil, divided: 0.25 cup
  • finely chopped celery: 1 cup
  • onion, finely chopped: 1 medium
  • garlic, minced: 1 clove
  • canned plum tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped: 1.5 cups
  • green olives, pitted and coarsely chopped: 12 piece
  • drained capers: 1.5 Tbsp
  • tomato paste: 1 Tbsp
  • minced oregano: 1 tsp
  • red wine vinegar: 2 Tbsp
  • white sugar: 2 tsp
  • salt: 1 tsp
  • ground black pepper to taste: 0 piece
  • minced fresh parsley, or to taste: 2 tsp

Metric Conversion

Stages of cooking

  1. Toss eggplant with salt and place in a colander set over a bowl. Let sit, about 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry.
    Eggplant Caponata (Sicilian Version) Photo 2
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add celery; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until onion is soft and lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl using a slotted spoon.
    Eggplant Caponata (Sicilian Version) Photo 3
  3. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in the skillet. Add eggplant and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in celery mixture, tomatoes, olives, capers, tomato paste, and oregano. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered until caponata is thickened, about 15 minutes.
    Eggplant Caponata (Sicilian Version) Photo 4
  4. Season caponata with vinegar, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with parsley.
    Eggplant Caponata (Sicilian Version) Photo 5

History of the Eggplant Caponata (Sicilian Version):

Eggplant Caponata is a traditional Italian dish that originated in Sicily. It is a delicious mixture of eggplant, tomatoes, olives, and capers cooked in a sweet and sour sauce. The history of this dish can be traced back to the 1700s to the Spanish colonizers in Sicily, who brought over the ingredients for this dish, including tomatoes and eggplants. The word "caponata" comes from the Sicilian word "capone," which means a fish that is large and cumbersome, much like the mixture of ingredients in this dish. Eggplant Caponata was originally served as a side dish or appetizer, but has now become a popular main dish around the world.

Tips and Tricks for Eggplant Caponata (Sicilian Version) Recipe:

  1. Use firm, ripe eggplants for this recipe.
  2. Make sure to drain the salted eggplant well to prevent excess moisture.
  3. Adjust the sweetness and sourness to your taste by adding more sugar or vinegar.
  4. If you prefer a smoother texture, blend the caponata in a food processor after it has cooled.
  5. Substitute green bell peppers for the celery if desired.
  6. This dish can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Tips for presenting the dish:

Eggplant caponata can be served hot or cold and makes a great appetizer or side dish. To present the dish, place it in a serving bowl, garnish with fresh parsley, and serve with toasted crusty bread or crostini. You can also add a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese on top for added flavor. Another option is to serve the caponata as a topping for grilled fish or chicken. Enrich the dish with one of your own ideas that matches your preferences.

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