Let’s make homemade caponata! This traditional Sicilian appetiser or side meal is ideal for late summer season meals. This dish integrates roasted (not fried) eggplant with sautéed bell pepper, celery, tomatoes, olives and capers. Red white wine vinegar and honey make it irresistibly tasty and sweet. If you normally take pleasure in these strong tastes, you’re going to like caponata.

Considering that worldwide travel is mostly off the table, I have actually been taking a trip vicariously through my food. This caponata is the ideal example. I have actually yet to make my method to Sicily to sample genuine caponata, however discovering to make this meal has actually deepened my desire to check out the island. Mark my words, I’ll arrive at some point.

caponata ingredients

Caponata dishes differ from area to area and family to family. This dish is where I landed. I took some cooking hints from my ratatouille dish, which likewise includes roasted eggplant stirred into a simmering tomato sauce. Caponata’s tastes are even much deeper and more intricate mostly due to the extreme agrodolce element, or the interaction in between sweet (honey and raisins) and sour (vinegar and capers).

I can’t declare this dish is completely genuine, however I hope it provides you a little taste of Sicily.

eggplant, capers, olives, raisins, tomatoes

How to Serve Caponata

Caponata is an enjoyable and flexible meal whether you serve it as an appetiser, a side meal or a snack. Generally, caponata was served together with fish or meat meals. Caponata provides strong, dynamic tastes that will match grilled entrées and late summer season banquets, and it loads well for picnics.

Caponata is a fantastic make-ahead meal. To provide the tastes time to socialize, let it chill in the refrigerator for a number of hours or preferably, a complete day. I choose my caponata warmed or at space temperature level, however some enjoy it cold. I think caponata would freeze well for later on if you wish to maintain a taste of late summer season. Bottom line do as you please!

Watch How to Make Caponata

Wondering what to consume with caponata? Here are some ideas:

  • Crostini provides the ideal base for caponata considering that it’s crisp and tough (pita chips or crackers would operate in a pinch)
  • Cheese plates
  • Olives or Torn Olives with Almonds, Celery & Parmesan
  • Raw tomato and herb-based salads, like Caprese Salad, Easy Tomato Salad, Panzanella or perhaps Fattoush
  • Moving even more from convention, caponata matches improvised meals of pasta, eggs or sandwiches

how to make caponata

Some Quick Caponata History

For context, Sicily is the biggest island in the Mediterranean Sea, situated simply south of Italy. Over numerous centuries, Sicily was gotten into by the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans (French) and Spaniards. Each culture left a mark on Sicilian food.

In my research study, I have actually found out that caponata is as varied as the history of Sicily. Caponata acquired eggplant and its sweet and sour (agrodolce) taste from the Arabs, olives from the Greeks, and tomatoes from Italy (or are they from Spanish aristocrats?). The dish appears to have actually drawn motivation from veggie meals of Spain (pisto manchego) and France (ratatouille) also. Even the roots of the name caponata are extremely discussed.

Advised Continuing Reading Caponata & Sicilian Food

  • A History of the Sicilian Caponata by Clifford A. Wright
  • Consuming the Arab Roots of Sicilian Food by Adam Leith Gollner
  • Eggplant Caponata: History of a Conventional Meal by Brunella Farina
  • Caponata, a mosaic of foods from Sicily by Expense St. John
  • The Middle Ages Starts of Sicilian Food by Clifford A. Wright

roasted eggplant in caponata

How to Make Caponata

You’ll discover the complete dish listed below, however here’s the essence:

  1. Roast the eggplant. Generally, caponata is made with fried eggplant. Considering that eggplant absorbs oil like a sponge, I have actually substantially brightened this meal by roasting the eggplant in a couple of tablespoons of oil rather. Roasted eggplant is golden, caramelized and perfectly fit for caponata. No requirement to salt the eggplant in advance.
  2. Prepare and prepare the onion, celery and bell pepper. Considering that the eggplant needs about thirty minutes in the oven, we’ll have time to slice these veggies and get them going.
  3. Include garlic, followed by crushed tomatoes. We’ll sauté the garlic simply enough time to improve its taste prior to gathering the tomatoes.
  4. Then include olives, raisins, vinegar, capers, honey, red pepper flakes and bay leaf. This is a lot to include at the same time you can integrate all of these in a bowl ahead of time to simplify this action.
  5. Stir in the roasted eggplant, followed by a handful of fresh herbs. Nearly done! Now you can modify the tastes to make your caponata taste ideal. If you have the time, let the caponata chill in the refrigerator for a number of hours, or overnight, prior to serving. I like it newly made, too, though.

caponata recipe

More Eggplant Recipes to Delight In

  • Baba Ganoush
  • Eggplant Parmesan
  • Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with Roasted Summertime Veggies
  • Ratatouille
  • Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Orzo Pasta

As constantly, please let me understand how you like your caponata in the remarks! I like speaking with you.

Sicilian caponata recipe


  • Author: Cookie and Kate
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes
  • Prepare Time: 40 minutes
  • Overall Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 side portions 1 x
  • Classification: Appetiser or side meal
  • Technique: Prepared
  • Food: Sicilian
  • Diet Plan: Vegetarian

5 from 38 evaluations

Find out how to make homemade caponata with this dish! This boldly seasoned Sicilian appetiser or side meal is ideal for late summer season meals. Dish yields about 6 side portions.

Active Ingredients

  • 1 big or 2 small eggplants (about 1 3/4 pounds), cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon great salt, divided, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, very finely sliced
  • Newly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, pushed or minced
  • 1 can (14 ounces) crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup pitted green olives (preferably Castelvetrano), approximately sliced
  • 1/4 cup raisins, red or golden
  • 3 tablespoons red white wine vinegar or gewurztraminer vinegar, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained pipes
  • 1 tablespoon honey or sugar, to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup sliced fresh mint, flat-leaf parsley and/or basil
  • Homemade Crostini, optional, for serving


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a big, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper to avoid the eggplant from adhering to it.
  2. Location the cubed eggplant on the ready pan. Spray it with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil, and quickly toss to coat (a few of the eggplant pieces will be more saturated with oil than the others, which’s ok). Roast the eggplant in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring midway, up until deeply golden.
  3. In the meantime, warm the staying tablespoon of olive oil in a medium Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Include the onion, bell pepper and celery. Season with the staying 1/4 teaspoon salt and about 10 twists of black pepper. Prepare up until the onions hurt and simply beginning to turn golden, about 9 to 12 minutes, stirring typically.
  4. Include the garlic and stir up until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Include the tomatoes and stir to integrate. Include the olives, raisins, vinegar, capers, honey, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf. Stir to integrate. Simmer on medium-low heat for 10 minutes approximately, stirring periodically.
  5. Eliminate and dispose of the bay leaf. Stir in the roasted eggplant and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the majority of the fresh herbs, scheduling a little handful for garnish. Eliminate the pot from the heat.
  6. Get used to taste to discover your wanted balance of tangy-sweet-spicy-salty. Include more vinegar (by the tablespoon), honey (by the teaspoon), red pepper flakes (I like a minimum of 1/4 teaspoon more, however I like spice), and/or salt (for more total taste). Transfer it to a serving bowl and top with the staying herbs.
  7. For finest taste, enable the caponata to rest at space temperature level for an hour, or longer in the fridge. Serve warm or at space temperature level (some even enjoy it cooled), with crostini if wanted. Caponata will keep for about 5 days, covered, in the refrigerator. I think it would freeze well for a number of months, too.


Modification it up: Aside from the eggplant and tomatoes, the veggies here are versatile you might include an additional bell pepper or leave out the bell pepper completely. You might include some carrot or zucchini or yellow squash. If you do not like raisins, leave them out. Not all caponata dishes require them, anyhow. You may take pleasure in pine nuts sprayed on top, which is another local variation.

Make it vegan: Alternative sugar for the honey.

Make it gluten totally free: This meal is gluten totally free, as long as you serve it with gluten-free accompaniments.

▸ Nutrition Info

The details revealed is a price quote offered by an online nutrition calculator. It must not be thought about an alternative to an expert nutritional expert’s guidance. See our complete nutrition disclosure here.

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