Sicilian Caponata

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Literally sweet and sour mediterranean vegetables. It's really important to sweat the initial stuff gently in a covered saucepan over a low heat for around 7-10 minutes. Also you do need to drain the tomatoes well and squeeze out most of the juice. It's vital you use good quality tinned tomatoes (ones from Italy are usually the best). This is deceptively tasty for such a simple dish, Absolutely fantastic with say grilled swordfish or BBQ lamb cutlets. Try this out it really is a magic recipe and one of those unbeatable combination of flavours from Italy.Keeps well refrigerated for a couple of days. Great for dinner parties as it go so well with meat or seafood, does not need heating and can be prepared well ahead of time. I've used it over the years in a number of restaurants where I've cooked.

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  • add   2 garlic cloves
  • add   6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • add   180 g pine nuts
  • add   1 medium eggplant
  • add   200 g green olives
  • add   1 (400 g) can peeled tomatoes
  • add   frying oil
  • add   1/2 bunch fresh sweet basil
  • add   1 large celery rib
  • add   100 ml red wine vinegar
  • add   2 tablespoons white sugar
  • add   1 large Spanish onion (Purple Skin)


  1. Drain tomatoes into a colander squeeze out juice with your hands and leave to drain. Cut onion and celery into a large dice (about 1/2cm) and slice garlic finely (use a mandoline if required). Saute gently in about 4 Tablespoons of olive oil in a covered pot for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile cut the egg plant into a large dice (about 1cm). Deep fry egg plant in batches until golden and set aside to cool. It's vital to get it golden brown. Mix together sauteed onion mixture, tomato pulp, fried eggplant and everything else with about 2 more tablespoons of olive oil. Mix in ripped basil leaves before serving. Best eaten at room temperature or slightly warm but do not boil or oils will separate.