Silky Sweet & Sour Eggplant Caponata

By • April 15, 2013 • 12 Comments

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Author Notes: Eggplant Caponata is a sweet, salty and vinegary mixture of eggplant, onion, celery, capers and olives. It's chunky and silky and pairs well with fresh ricotta on top of crunchy French or Italian bread or even fat bread sticks. It can be served cold, warm or hot. You can find many variations of caponata, but this is how my family makes it with the addition of pine nuts for some crunch.Brooklyn Salt

Serves 8 people

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, cut lengthwise and chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 large OR 2 medium eggplant, skinned and cubed
  • 1 cup pitted green olives, sliced lengthwise in half
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 5 whole peeled tomatoes (from a 14-ounce can of whole peeled tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  1. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium/high heat. Add the celery, onion and a small pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the celery and onions are completely soft and caramelized. Transfer it all with a slotted spoon to a heat-safe bowl and set aside.
  2. Return the saute pan to the stove. Add the eggplant to the saute pan and sprinkle it with a small pinch of salt. Do not stir the eggplant until the bottom layer browns slightly. Then stir and let the eggplant soften and caramelize all over. Transfer the eggplant to the same bowl as the onion and celery.
  3. Return the saute pan to the stove again, adding the olives, pine nuts, capers, red pepper flakes and tomato paste. Saute for a few minutes until pine nuts are golden brown and aromas from the olives and capers are released. Immediately add in the tomatoes, vinegar and sugar. Stir, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden or slotted spoon and let simmer for a couple of minutes.
  4. Pour the contents of the saute pan into the bowl with the onions, celery and eggplant. Mix all the ingredients well, let cool slightly and serve with toasted slices of baguette with or without fresh ricotta cheese.
Jump to Comments (12)

Tags: caponata, eggplant

Comments (12) Questions (0)


3 months ago Michelle Morgan

Awesome on it's own, but for giggles I added one swipe of the microplane of orange zest. Holy cow!


3 months ago Brooklyn Salt

Hi Michelle, thanks for trying out my caponata! I'll remember that orange zest idea the next time I make this:)


9 months ago gt1street

How long does this hold in the fridge ?


9 months ago Brooklyn Salt

Hi gt1street! I usually keep any caponata leftovers in the fridge for no longer than 5 days, maybe 7 days max. Thanks for checking out this recipe!


8 months ago gt1street

First of all it came out delicious ! And second it kept in my fridge for nearly two weeks and was still as good as when I made it


8 months ago Brooklyn Salt

So glad to hear that you liked it and that it kept well in the fridge! This makes me want some caponata now:)


12 months ago deblenares

I loved it and so did my family. I'm making it again for a work party this week.


12 months ago Brooklyn Salt

Hi deblenares, I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed the caponata! I hope the colleagues enjoy it at the work party. It can be served cold or warm!


11 months ago deblenares

Hi Brookly Salt, an update post-party. Not only was the dish emptied completely, but someone went from table to table asking, "who made the caponata?" to get the recipe because she (and everyone she asked) loved it. Big hit! (my only change was that I did add more sugar to taste.)


11 months ago Brooklyn Salt

So awesome deblenares! I'm glad it was such a hit! I think I'll be making this for my New Years party. I hope all your party goers make this recipe a part of their party snack repertoires!


about 1 year ago Brooklyn Salt

Hi ATG117, I'm so sorry to hear that this did not work out for you. I tend to love a strong vinegar flavor, but I could see how too much can be overpowering. If you still have the caponata, I'd suggest sauteing up more vegetables to add to it which might even out the vinegar flavor. I'll test this recipe again soon and adjust the amounts. In the meantime, for anyone else trying this recipe out, add the vinegar and sugar in small amounts and stop once you've reached your desired sweetness/sourness.


about 1 year ago ATG117

This caponata did not work out well for me and I actually followed the recipe, minus the capers. There was way too much vinegar, which I tried to balance out by adding honey, to no great avail.