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Authentic Sicilian Caponata Recipe

Product Description

Our Italian chefs put together an authentic Sicilian Caponata recipe that'll be a hit at your next gathering. Eggplant caponata is a unique and flavorful side dish that fantastically pairs with sourdough focaccia or acts as an authentic topping for meat or fish. 

The Best Summer Eggplant Recipe

Eggplant Caponata is one of the best summer eggplant recipes because it's light and usually served cold. Did you know eggplant caponata was created to substitute a popular fish caught off the shores of Sicily? The masterful chefs found you can replace the fish with an eggplant and still capture the same beautiful taste. 

Ingredients for Your Eggplant Caponata

  • 3/4 cup Marino Organic Monte Iblei Sicilian Olive Oil, don’t skimp, you might need more
  • 2 eggplants, medium diced
  • 1 onion, medium diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, medium diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, medium diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, medium diced
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3-4 tablespoons Sicilian capers
  • 3 tablespoons Ritrovo Selections Tomato Balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Asacia honey or sugar
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Pinch red pepper flakes such as Michele Ferrante Controne Pepper (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese for garnish

Really elevate your ingredients for your eggplant caponata by using ingredients grown within the region!

Sautéed Sicilian Caponata Directions

  1. Heat about 1/2 of the olive oil (to start) in a large pot. Add the eggplant and onion. Cook for about 10 minutes uncovered. The eggplant should start to release the moisture and begin to brown. Stir as needed.
  2. Add in all of the bell peppers, tomatoes, raisins (if using), garlic, and capers. Stir to combine and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Uncover and stir, then cook uncovered for another 15-20 minutes until all vegetables are tender.
  3. Stir in vinegar and honey (or sugar) and cook for a few minutes more.
  4. Turn off the heat and stir in the pine nuts and fresh basil and parsley.
    Add red pepper flakes salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Garnish with chopped parsley and a little Parmesan cheese. Serve hot or at room temperature with bread, chicken or fish. For a vegetarian meal option, try it with panelle (chickpea fritters).

One of the Best Sicilian Appetizers

An authentic Sicilian Caponata is one of the best Sicilian appetizers you can make. This Sicilian appetizer of fried eggplant with peppers, onions, and garlic has been a staple of Sicilian cuisine for centuries; there are as many variations of this dish as there are kitchens in Sicily. I learned to make it from a chef in Ortigia and he was adamant about the proper Sicilian ingredients. I have modified the recipe to include some of my favorite products, but have provided substitutions.

What is Sicilian Eggplant or Eggplant Siciliano?

Eggplant Siciliano

 You may be thinking there's something wrong with the eggplant in your photo but rest assured this is a Sicilian eggplant! 

Sicilian eggplants are lighter in color and rather round. Eggplant Siciliano skin is tender and thin and the flesh feels firm to the touch. Some say the Sicilian eggplant is the sweetest they have ever eaten. 

Sicilian Caponata Facts for your Gathering

Early documentation estimates caponata sauce arrived in Sicily with the Muslim battalions and the Persian officials who had already been won over by its wonderful balance between sweetness and sourness. Eggplant was used by the poor to substitute fish or meat. What previously was food for the poor is now considered a delightful dish loved by many. 

Can you Freeze Caponata? 

Can you freeze caponata? This is a long debate but in our experience Caponata is freezer friendly. Do yourself a favor and make a double batch, let it cool then store it in an airtight container in the freezer. The Caponata should keep well for up to three months. 

Caponata is also great to keep in the fridge and usually tastes better after a day or two. Whatever you decide to do with your caponata be sure to enjoy it with friends and family!

Buon Apettito!