Sicilian Caponata

Sicilian Caponata

4 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine September/October 2011

This caponata is a vibrant mixture of fresh vegetables, including eggplant, onion, celery and tomatoes. Olives, capers, basil and pine nuts makes it special. Serve it as a side with fish or as a spread on rustic bread. Prepare it the night before serving if you can; it always tastes better the next day.

Ingredients 4 servings

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  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound eggplant (see Tips), peeled and diced
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 stalks celery with leaves, diced
  • 3 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, if needed
  • 1 tablespoon red-wine or white-wine vinegar, or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 15 small or 7 large pitted green olives, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons lightly toasted pine nuts (see Tips)


  • Active

  • Ready In

  1. Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and soft, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the pan. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and lightly golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. (If the pan seems too dry, push the onion and garlic to the side, add a drizzle of oil, then continue cooking.)
  3. Stir in celery; cook, stirring frequently, until softened and slightly golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in tomatoes; cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Return the eggplant to the pan; stir until well combined. Sprinkle sugar over the eggplant mixture (omit if using Chinese eggplant, which is naturally sweeter), stir to combine and cook for about 30 seconds. Stir in vinegar, salt and pepper. Taste and add 1 to 2 tablespoons vinegar, if desired. Stir in olives and capers; cook for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in basil and pine nuts.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • Tips: If you're using large, common globe eggplant, which can be more bitter than other varieties, salting beforehand can reduce bitterness. To salt: Place prepped eggplant in a large colander over a bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon salt. Top the eggplant with a plate weighted down with cans. Let sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour before using. Rinse well with cold water, then dry with paper towels.
  • Toast chopped, small or sliced nuts in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 cup
  • Per serving: 290 calories; 26 g fat(3 g sat); 5 g fiber; 14 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein; 55 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 7 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 663 IU vitamin A; 12 mg vitamin C; 47 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 492 mg sodium; 536 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (20% daily value), Potassium (15% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 5 fat

Reviews 4

September 26, 2016
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By: Lois Raimondi Munchel
My parents are Sicilian and we love caponata. I added raisins to the recipe. It works well with the sour/sweet taste of the dish. Otherwise I used the recipe as written....
July 05, 2015
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By: sheila
yummy I'm of Sicilian decent and I've never had this. is so delicious. I toasted my bread slices in olive oil. This will be made for a party!!!
November 24, 2013
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By: EatingWell User
Great antipasto for a dinner party I made this as an appetizer for a recent dinner party. Everyone loved it, including those that don't usually like eggplant. I served it with crostini. I used small eggplants and cut the sugar to 1 teaspoon. I probably could have gotten away with not using the sugar. Pros: easy to make, delicious flavour Cons: a touch sweet for my palate
December 26, 2011
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By: EatingWell User
So tasty! I have made this recipe several times. It received raves from my ladies golf league when I made it for our league potluck. The flavors are wonderful and it's packed with vegetables--a win-win. Pros: delicious Cons: labor-intensive