Caponata: a taste of Sicily

Kathy Jollimore

A staple on the Sicilian table, caponata is a sweet and sour salad of eggplant, tomatoes, green olives, and capers.

It’s very versatile on the dinner table.

Try it as a crostini topping as an appetizer, serve it as a side dish with fish, or enjoy as a main course as a vegetarian stew.


4 servings
Prep Time: Less than 30 min
Total Time: Less than 1 hour

  • Olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 14 oz can whole tomatoes, drained and crushed
  • 1 cup green olives
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 large eggplant, cut into large chunks, salted, sautéed (see Here’s How)
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

Directions: Place a pan over medium-high heat. Add a couple tablespoons olive oil, onion and celery, cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the olives, capers, vinegar, sugar, and eggplant. Simmer until the stew is thickened and the vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes. Add the parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Here’s How


1. Pick an eggplant that is heavier than it looks, with a smooth skin. Wash and clean eggplant. Chop into cubes.

2. Place eggplant in paper towel lined bowl and generously salt. The salting process will remove bitter juices.

3. After 10 to 15 minutes, rinse salt off eggplant and pat dry with paper towl. Fry eggplant in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. When golden brown remove to a paper towel-lined plate and season.

Occasions Recommends

  • Principi de Butera Insolia, Italy $18.99

Next Week

Kathy investigates the cuisine of France, beginning with a dish to match Beaujolais.

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