INGREDIENTS: Serves 6 or more
• 3 ripe, medium-sized eggplants (about 2 1/2 pounds)
• 1 teaspoon salt, plus salt to sprinkle on the eggplant
• 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1/3 cup pure olive oil
• 2 large onions, coarsely chopped
• 4 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
• 1 (12-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes or tomato puree
• 3 fresh basil leaves, slivered
• 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
• 1/4 cup capers, drained and rinsed
• 1 cup small green olives, pitted and sliced
• 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar, or more to taste
• Scant 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar DIRECTIONS:

  1. Remove the stems from the eggplants and discard.
  2. Cut unpeeled eggplant into 1/2 cubes and salt liberally; drain in a colander with a heavy weight, such
    as a pot or glass mixing bowl, on top for 1 hour to allow the bitter juices to drain off. Rinse off salt,
    squeeze well, and dry with absorbent paper. Set aside.
  3. Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet; add onions and celery and sautè covered for 5 to
    8 minutes until slightly softened. Pour in tomatoes; add basil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add capers and olives, and cook for 5 minutes longer. Set aside. In another
    large skillet, sautè the eggplant in 1/3 cup of hot olive oil, (add more oil if necessary to prevent
    sticking; eggplant absorbs a lot of oil as it cooks.) After 15 minutes, transfer the sautèed eggplant
    to the skillet with the onion and celery mixture, stirring until evenly mixed.
  5. Sprinkle the mixture with sugar, pour vinegar over, and stir. Cover and simmer slowly over low heat
    for 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours, or up to three days. Serve warm or cold.


INGREDIENTS: Serves 6 or more

  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 small bulb fennel, diced
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 small, baby eggplant, diced
  • 3 small zucchini, diced
  • 12 calamata olives, pitted, roughly chopped
  • 2 oz raisins (golden)
  • 1/2 cup diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1 tsp white balsamic vinegar


  1. Have all the vegetables ingredients diced. Set the eggplant on a tray lined with paper towels,
    sprinkle with a little salt to draw out moisture. (at least 30 minutes)
  2. Heat large sautè pan with oil. (you can use a non stick pan if you wish). Sautè onion, fennel just it
    just begins to soften, then add garlic, red pepper, eggplant, zucchini.
  3. Toss to coat with oil. Add the tomatoes. Add the vinegar, raisins and olives.
  4. Cook until tender, on medium low. Taste. Add more vinegar or salt, or if not sweet enough, a pinch
    of sugar if needed.
  5. If you are using as a pasta topping: Boil pasta. toss with vegetables. Add some fresh basil and
    cheese if you wish.

Either recipe can be used as a topping for a pasta such as fettuccini, Rigatoni, penne rigate, or some
other larger pasta that will hold the sauce. Add a topping of dry cheese such as Parmigano Reggiano,
Asiago or feta if you wish. Primarily for caponata, you can spread the caponata on some grilled
Italian bread and just keep piling it on and enjoying it.


credit Cuboimages/Reda&Co Srl

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