Eggplant or Aubergine caponata – Caponata di melanzane

Ingredients for 6 servings

  • 4 medium black eggplants
  • 1 stalk of celery with leaves
  • 3 oz. pitted green olives
  • 1 tbsp of capers
  • 1 tbsp of pine seeds
  • 1/2 glass of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 glass of white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • fresh basil
  • 1 bu.
  • 1 medium onion
  • seed oil
  • 1 teaspoon of raisins (optional)
  • salt
  • pepper TT


It is a widespread traditional summer dish which must be served cold and can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days. In glass containers with airtight closing and then sterilized this preparation can be stored for several months.


Wash and dice the eggplants; sprinkle with salt and leave for a couple fo hours in a colander to drain the excess water.Dry carefully then deep fry in seed oil. When golden, drain and put on kitchen paper towels. Husk and chop the celery and sautè in a frying pan with olive oil and the sliced onion. Before the sautè in golden add the tomato sauce, some leaves of basil, the olives, the capers, the pine seeds and, if desired, the raisins (which will have been left in lukewarm water and then squeezed). Add salt, and pepper and simmer for 10 minutes at medium heat. Pour over the vinegar and sugar ; mix and allow to evaporate a little.Combine eggplants and sauce and toss. Chill the caponata and add toasted and chopped almonds(optional).


There are many variations of caponata among which are the addition of small octopus (in Palermo); fish, and in different part of Sicily, a mixture of eggplants and peppers. The caponata can also be prepared with artichokes.

Read some insight into the early days of caponata by Ann Stutch, musician, world traveler, and lover of Sicily.

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