Caponata is a delicious balanced sweet and sour Sicilian Eggplant Relish recipe that’s perfect food for any summer gathering.
There are so many gatherings that happen in the summer. For starters, Independence Day is right around the corner! And the next two months will be full of block parties, pool parties, BBQs, picnics, and camping trips before Labor Day rolls around.
There’s almost always something going on; a cause to celebrate or a reason to get together. Which means most of us are always in need of fresh new summer recipe ideas!
Caponata is a sweet and sour Sicilian Eggplant Relish recipe that I eyed up about four years ago. It has been on my list of things to make since then! With summer officially here and this recipe being full of beautiful summer produce, I knew it was high time I finally made it happen.
Traditional Caponata Recipe
This is my own take on Caponata instead of the classic version.
The base of this recipe is eggplant, and it should have a sweet, sour, and salty flavor thanks to sugar, vinegar, and capers. Some variations of this dish also have olives and/or seafood.
I put a few of my own twists on this Sicilian eggplant dish. Instead of sugar, I use honey and I use much less than the typical amount. I also add pine nuts for nutty crunch, and fresh basil because it brightens up the flavor of everything else.
What Do You Do With Caponata?
This eggplant recipe is typically served as an appetizer, along with some kind of bread or cracker for spreading it on.
Here are a few more ideas on how to eat Caponata:
- Condiment on a sandwich, wrap, taco, or burger
- Topping for grilled steak, chicken, or fish
- Tossed with pasta
- Pizza topping along with some fresh mozzarella cheese
- On a bed of greens topped with fresh-grated Parmesan cheese
- Or just eat it as-is like a chopped salad
Can I Freeze Caponata?
Yes, Caponata freezes very well! If you want to freeze this recipe, hold off on adding the fresh basil and pine nuts until right before serving.
Freeze it in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
More Healthy Appetizer Recipe Ideas:
- Easy Restaurant Style Salsa
- Guiltless French Onion Dip
- Edamame Dip
- Garlic and Herb Savory Gluten Free Biscotti (Keto)
- Healthy Spinach Dip
- Cheese Stuffed Baked Italian Meatball Recipe (Keto)
- Crispy Baked Zucchini Slices (Keto)
Did you make this recipe? Please rate it and leave a comment below because I love hearing from you! You can also tag @anediblemosaic on social media. To stay up-to-date FOLLOW ME on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Xoxo, Faith
Caponata Recipe (Sicilian Eggplant Relish)
- 3/4 pound eggplant diced into 1/4-inch squares
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 1 medium or 2 small yellow onions diced
- 2 medium stalks celery chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic minced
- 3/4 pound plum tomatoes aka Roma tomatoes; about 6 small tomatoes, diced
- 1/3 cup vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons capers drained and coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts toasted
- Small handful fresh basil
- Toss the eggplant with 3 tablespoons oil and spread it out on a baking sheet. Roast until tender and starting to brown, about 20 to 25 minutes in a 425F oven, tossing once halfway through.
- While the eggplant roasts, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large, deep skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until softened and starting to brown in spots, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and tomato and sauté until the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the stock, turn the heat down to medium-low to low, cover the skillet, and cook until the tomatoes are starting to soften, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the eggplant to the tomato mixture and cook (covered) over low until the eggplant is very soft and most of the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the vinegar, honey, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes and cook (uncovered) until thickened, about 2 to 5 minutes.
- Serve warm, room temperature, or cold topped with pine nuts and basil.
- Serve it with bread or crackers for dipping
- Use it as a condiment on a sandwich, wrap, taco, or burger
- Serve it as a topping for grilled steak, chicken, or fish
- Toss it with pasta
- Top a pizza with it and some fresh mozzarella cheese
- Serve it on a bed of greens topped with fresh-grated Parmesan cheese
- Or just eat it as-is like a chopped salad
This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on June 23, 2017. I updated it with more information on April 21, 2020.
Disclosure: This post contains Amazon affiliate links to products I believe in, which means that even though it doesn’t cost you anything extra, I will receive a small amount of money from the sale of these items. Thank you for helping to support An Edible Mosaic!