Classic Caponata

This piquant relish, made with eggplant, onions, celery, capers and a generous amount of olive oil and vinegar, embodies its home island of Sicily. Eat it warm or cold, spread it on crostini, spoon it on top of grilled chicken or fish, or fold it into an omelette.
Classic Caponata recipe

Classic Caponata

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 10Servings


  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 large or 2 medium eggplants (1½ lb total), cut into ½-inch cubes 

  • ½ tsp sea salt, divided + additional to taste 

  • ½ yellow onion, chopped 

  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced 

  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped 

  • 1 tsp raw honey, divided 

  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes 

  • 1 14-oz BPA-free can unsalted diced tomatoes, with juices 

  • ¼ cup roughly chopped pitted green olives 

  • ¼ cup golden raisins 

  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar 

  • 2 tbsp drained capers 

  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped  

  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped 

  • ½ tsp ground black pepper


1. In a large skillet on medium, heat 2 tbsp oil. Add half of eggplant and 1/8 tsp salt; cook, stirring, until eggplant is soft and browned in spots, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Pour ½ cup water into skillet and scrape out any browned bits; discard. Repeat with 2 tbsp oil, remaining eggplant and 1/8 tsp salt. Transfer to bowl; scrape out skillet again.

2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in same skillet. Add onion, celery and ¼ tsp salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion and celery are very tender and onion is turning golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, ½ tsp honey and pepper flakes; sauté 1 minute, until garlic is fragrant.

3. Return eggplant to skillet; stir in tomatoes, olives, raisins, vinegar and capers. Bring to a simmer, partially cover and cook until all ingredients are tender and well blended, 10 to 15 minutes, stirring in basil and oregano in final 2 minutes. Season with pepper. Add remaining ½ tsp honey and additional salt, if needed. Serve hot or at room temperature, drizzled with 1 to 2 tbsp oil, or let cool, cover and refrigerate (the flavors continue to develop so it's even better the next day). 

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup
  • Calories: 152
  • Carbohydrate Content: 11 g
  • Fat Content: 12 g
  • Fiber Content: 3.5 g
  • Protein Content: 1.5 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 2 g
  • Sodium Content: 198 mg
  • Sugar Content: 7 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content: 9 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content: 1 g