Caponata – Sicilian eggplant relish

This Sicilian eggplant/onion relish has a slight sweet and sour taste and is SOOO good! Serve on bread or crackers or just eat with a fork. I think it’s best at room temperature.


2 large eggplants, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 TB salt
3 celery ribs, diced
4 large cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2 large onions, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
1/3 c capers, drained and briefly rinsed
1/2 c pitted and sliced green olives
1/3 c red or white wine vinegar
2 TB granulated sugar
1-28oz can of diced tomatoes, drained, or the equivalent in fresh peeled
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
olive oil
pine nuts (optional)

Toss the diced eggplant with the salt and let sit for at least an hour. Discard any liquid that accumulates, but do not rinse.

Put 1/2 c olive oil in a a large sauté pan with a cover and cook the eggplant over medium high heat, stirring often, until lightly browned. If needed, do in 2 batches using 1/4 c oil for each batch. Remove to a bowl.

Add 2 TB olive oil to the same pan and cook the onion for a few minutes. Add the garlic and cook until onion and garlic are lightly browned. Leave in the pan.

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and cook the diced celery for a minute. Drain and add to the pan with the onion. Add the tomatoes, cover, and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Combine the sugar and vinegar in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve. Warm in the microwave if needed to help the sugar dissolve. Add to the onion/tomato mixture along with the eggplant and red pepper. Add a few grindings of black pepper. Don’t add salt at this time because the salting of the eggplants may have provided enough, plus you’ll be adding salty capers and olives. Simmer slowly, stirring occasionally, until all vegetables are tender. Stir in the olives and capers and simmer for another moment. Adjust salt if needed. Let cool before serving, or refrigerate for up to a week.

Before serving, put the desired amount of pine nuts in a small, dry fry pan and cook, shaking, over medium heat until toasted a light brown. Watch these carefully as they can overcook quickly. Stir into the caponata, or sprinkle on top, then serve.

Explore posts in the same categories: Ethnic, Starters, Vegetarian

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