Caponata – Sicilian Cooked Eggplant Salad

Caponata (Sicilian: capunata) is a Sicilian eggplant (aubergine) dish consisting of a cooked vegetable salad made from chopped fried eggplant and celery seasoned with sweetened vinegar, with capers in a sweet and sour sauce.

Numerous local variations of the ingredients exist with some versions adding olives, carrots and green capsicum (bell peppers), and others adding potatoes, or pine nuts and raisins.

There is a Palermo version that adds octopus, while an aristocratic Sicilian recipe includes lobster and swordfish garnished with wild asparagus, grated dried tuna roe and shrimp. However, these last examples are exceptions to the general rule of a sweet and sour cooked vegetable stew or salad.

Today, caponata is typically used as a side dish for fish dishes and sometimes as an appetizer, but since the 18th century it has also been used as a main course.

A similar Neapolitan dish is called cianfotta. The dish is also popular in Tunisian cuisine.


Caponata - Sicilian Cooked Eggplant Salad
Serves: 6
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 3 large eggplants, cut into 2cm cubes
  • 4 large plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 pitted green olives, and halved
  • 4 pitted black olives, and halved
  • 2 teaspoons capers, soaked if salted
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 4 celery stalks, thinly sliced (save some of the leaves for garnish)
  • 50ml red wine vinegar
  • handful toasted pine nuts and celery leaves
For the Bruschetta
  • 8 slices ciabatta
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • 1 clove garlic
  1. Pour the olive oil into a large heavy-based saucepan or casserole, place over a medium heat and add the cubed eggplants. Cook for a good 15-20 minutes until they are soft. Scoop the eggplants out of the pan – you should be left with some olive oil.
  2. Add the tomatoes and cook slowly, so they break down and turn to a soft mush, then add the eggplants back to the pan.
  3. Now put in the olives, capers, raisins, celery and vinegar, season well and cover with a lid. Cook over a low heat for 40 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft. Stir gently so it doesn’t break up too much; the stew should smell sweet and sour.
  4. When the caponata is cooked, leave to cool slightly while you make the bruschetta.
For the Bruschetta
  1. Heat a griddle pan, drizzle the bread with olive oil and griddle until toasted and lightly charred on both sides, then rub with a garlic clove and season.
  2. Serve the warm caponata scattered with the celery leaves and pine nuts, with bruschetta on the side.

Comments and Feedback

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
Hi There - We notice that you have an ad-blocker
Plenty of visitors do. All we ask is that you please consider sharing us or commenting on the post as a nice gesture.
Thank you for visiting The Taste of Aussie
Your Information will never be shared with any third party.
General Profile
User Information
John Doe
Professor of Botanics
Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, John is a superior specialist in growing palms and exotic plants.
Social rating:
Vel eros amet amet mauris a habitasse scel erisque? Vel urna dis et, placerat phasellus, diam in! Placerat nec facilisis, tortor tristique. Arcu placerat sagittis, velit lorem scelerisque egestas placerat.
Subscribe Now
Join our weekly newsletter for more great recipes
Just before you go
Please consider sharing us or commenting
on the post as a nice gesture.
Thank you for visiting The Taste of Aussie
Just before you go - please share us with your friends and followers.
Thank you for visiting
The Taste of Aussie
Subscribe Now
Join our free weekly newsletter to get the best recipes and cooking information.
TrophyWin a copy of "From The Source - Mexico"
Your Entries
Total Entries
Days Left
Mexico's best local cooks - from street food stalls, family-run haciendas and haute-cuisine restaurants - reveal their culinary passions, along with such classic regional recipes as marinated pork tacos, hot lime soup and Oaxacan hot chocolate

Enter the sweepstake to win a copy of this fantastic cookbook.