Italian Eggplant Caponata is a delicious make-ahead appetizer or side dish. Serve it warm, cold or at room temperature!
Oh boy! I could not wait to make this Eggplant Caponata during our Cooking with Nonna Anna day! Anything with an eggplant, I can't turn down.
As an appetizer, or even a side dish, count me in...please! But first....what do you always want to create the best version of a recipe? The freshest ingredients you can find, right?!
Lucky for us here in Orange County, California, we've got an actual farm that sells the best of everything grown right there! Manassero Farms has been our "go to" for years.
If you're in the area, make it yours! Everything is picked to perfection!
Eggplant Caponata is a Sicilian dish that is a delicious medley of vegetables. Simple ingredients, all easy to come by; spiked with the tartness of capers and olives.
This would also be amazing at a brunch buffet! Or toast some baguette slices and use it for bruschetta.
Make it the day of or the night before, because when sealed up in a container, and placed in the refrigerator, the caponata only gets better.
This might just be one of your next go to recipes...easy, healthy and delicious!
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- 1 pound eggplant, peeled
- olive oil
- 2 red bell peppers, seeded, ribs removed, and cut in ⅔-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, divided-¼ finely chopped, ¾ cut into ⅔-inch pieces
- 2 tender celery stalks, leaves included, finely chopped
- 1 Tablespoon capers, rinsed well and drained
- 6 pitted green olives, cut into a few pieces
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- ¾ teaspoon sugar
- 6 medium canned peeled tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 Tablespoons pignolis (pine nuts), lightly toasted
- 1 ½ Tablespoons chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
- Cut eggplant into ¾-inch cubes.
- Deep fry the eggplant in ⅔-inch layer of oil, over high heat, until dark gold. With a slotted spoon, remove eggplant cubes from pan, drain on paper towels and set aside.
- Transfer 3 Tablespoons of the frying oil to a large skillet. Set aside the remaining oil.
- Heat the oil then add peppers, large pieces of onion and celery.
- Cook over moderate heat, stirring, for a couple of minutes.
- Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 8 minutes.
- Uncover, increase heat to high and cook, stirring, until vegetables start browning.
- Add capers, olives, vinegar and sugar; then turn off heat.
- Add eggplant and mix very gently.
- Heat 2 Tablespoons of the oil used to cook the eggplant in a small pan and sauté the finely chopped onion. Add the tomatoes.
- Cook over high heat until they sizzle.
- Stir in salt and add to the vegetable mixture.
- Add pine nuts to the mixture.
- Stir gently until all the pieces are evenly distributed.
- Put into your favorite serving bowl and sprinkle with chopped parsley.
- Serve at room temperature.
Gr8 Serving Ideas:
- Serve on sliced baguette that has been brushed with extra-virgin olive oil and lightly toasted in the oven.
- Or serve with crackers or fresh celery for dipping.
Gr8 Do-Ahead Appetizer:Make this dish in the morning and refrigerate. Be sure to remove from the refrigerator at least 1 ½ hours before serving so it can come to room temperature.
Last published on April 24, 2016.
Hi Lon, This is a wonderful side dish or appetizer on toasted crostini and would be a gr8 appetizer for a party. Enjoy your Italian celebration and let us know if you make the Eggplant Caponata. Enjoy!
This will be perfect for the big Italian celebration that we are planning for an 85th birthday. Thank you!!