Sicilian Caponata


     This is a delightful convergence of so many things I love. Mediterranean food of course, eggplant, olive oil, and all of it cooked down into a jammy spread? Yeah, I knew this was happening. And as luck would have it I had an eggplant hanging around I had purchased for another recipe that wasn't getting made. I can't say I regret it because this recipe from La Cucina Italiana was absolutely delicious. 

     Caponata is an eggplant-based dish that is somewhere between a spread and a relish. It's a chunky eggplant dish elevated with things like olives, capers, pine nuts, garlic, and fresh basil. It's both hearty and light and makes for a great dinner or snack. 

    Check out these other great recipes with fresh basil from the other members joining us for Sunday Funday. 

Sicilian Caponata Recipe
1 eggplant, cubed
1 large tomato, chopped
1 red onion, sliced
1/4 c. celery leaves
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. pine nuts
10 Castelvetrano olives, sliced
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 c. vinegar
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chiffonade 
2 Tbsp. capers, chopped
1 tsp. brown sugar

Baguette to serve

Take the cubed eggplant and sprinkle it with salt. Place in a colander and allow to sit for 30 minutes. 

After the eggplant has been allowed to drain heat half the olive oil in a skillet. Add the red onion and cook for 10 minutes or until the onions are quite cooked. Add the tomatoes, celery leaves, and eggplant cubes and cook for an additional 10 minutes, stirring often. Add more olive oil as needed. 

Add the pine nuts, olives, and capers and cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn the heat to high and add the vinegar, brown sugar, and a third of the basil. Cook until the vinegar is reduced and the mixture is thick. Taste and add more salt as needed. 

Allow to cool and then chill. Chill overnight before serving. 


  1. That is a lovely condiment to enjoy with bread, naans. An excellent way to get my family to enjoy eggplants.


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