Eggplant Caponata photo

[RECIPE] Eggplant Caponata

In Recipes & How-to by Roscioli Italian Wine Club

Eggplant caponata is a traditional dish from the beautiful island of Sicily.

Caponata is a very popular dish and it is famous all over Italy. It could be described as a cooked salad made up of fried eggplant and other ingredients. It is a sweet and sour dish and many of the ingredients used in it (like pine nuts and raisins) clearly show the influence of the Arab and Middle Eastern world that permeates Sicilian culture, architecture, dialect and food.

Eggplant Caponata can be eaten as a side dish or as an appetizer. It is usually eaten in spring and summer and it is best served at room temperature, or even cold, with warm bread.

Eggplant Caponata photo

Prep Time: 40 mins

Cook Time: 50 mins

Servings: 5

  • 4 eggplants (around 1kg)
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced in rounds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 80g green olives, pitted and quartered
  • 30g capers
  • 2 tbsp sultanas or raisins
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 200g tomato passata
  • 40g sugar
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 6 basil leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  1. Cut the eggplant into slices around 1 cm thick, sprinkle with salt and leave to rest in a cloth for 4 hours.
  2. In the meantime,add the celery, carrots, onions, capers, pine nuts and olives to a large pan.
  3. Cook over a low heat until soft.
  4. Add sugar and vinegar, cook for 5 more mins
  5. Add the tomato passata and continue cooking on low for another 20 mins. Turn off the heat and allow the flavor to infuse.
  6. Rinse the salt off the eggplant before cutting into 1cm × 1cm cubes.
  7. Fry the eggplant cubes in peanut oil (heated to around 180°), drain with paper as you go - you'll need to do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.
  8. Allow the fried eggplant cubes to cool, and then add them to the vegetable sauce.
  9. Add salt and pepper to taste, and finish with the basil leaves to serve

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