Caponata: Sicilian Eggplant Relish Recipe | PBS Food

Caponata: Sicilian Eggplant Relish

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In Sicilian-Italian cuisine, this dish is really called Melenzane alla Caponata (Eggplant Caponata).


Yield: 4 servings



  • 3 globe eggplants
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 white onion sliced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 ounces imported capers
  • 4 ounces kalamata olives pitted
  • 4 ounces diced fresh tomatoes
  • 1 bunch basil chopped
  • 2 tablespons salt
  • 2 tablspoons pepper


  1. Cut the eggplant into two-inch cubes and fry it until it is cooked through. Set aside. Next, cut the celery into one-inch pieces and boil them for 7 minutes.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the sliced onions in two tablespoons of the vegetable oil. When the onions are translucent, add the red wine vinegar. Let the vinegar evaporate and then add the sugar. Next, add the capers, olives, basil, tomatoes cooked celery, salt, and pepper.
  3. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and then add the fried eggplant. Cook for another five minutes and serve.


Serving Suggestions: In Sicily, this is one of the most common dishes as an appetizer or even as a side dish. It is usually served cold but at times it can be served hot. Beverage Suggestions: A good semi dry red wine from Sicily, like Nero D'Avola.
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