I’m always leery when I steal a recipe from another culture.

I don’t want to be a total imposter, and I do want to give credit where credit is due. Sicilians—you have figured out the best way to eat an eggplant. For that I thank you. I hope you accept my version of caponata, which is essentially an Italian version of ratatouille, which is a French version of eggplants stewed with tomatoes and—well, “other vegetables and herbs.”

Caponata | Things I Made TodayLike many a signature dish, caponata and it’s French cousin ratatouille don’t have just a single way of doing things. So while I do not claim any guarantee of authenticity, I do think I’ve got the gist of the dish done right.

Caponata | Things I Made Today

But let’s back up. My love for caponata came a few years ago, when my family and friends spent a week in Sicily. I was six months pregnant, so while everyone else was enjoying wine with their meals, I had the advantage of focusing just on dinner. The flavors of caponata left their mark. That was almost three years ago though, so excuse me for taking the time to get the recipe on the blog here.

Caponata | Things I Made Today

Here’s what I remember: eggplant (my favorite of summer vegetables) is the base. Tomatoes and onions make up the bulk of the dish, but they are accented by three important components: capers and olives for a bit of saltiness, and raisins for a touch of sweetness.

Caponata | Things I Made Today

Caponata works as a side dish to pork or to fish when served warm, but it’s also a perfect antipasti or salad for a meal when served cold. Translation: you can cook up one giant batch of it and enjoy it in all sorts of different ways for many meals. If that’s not enough to sell you, you should probably stop reading now.

Caponata | Things I Made Today

Recipe type: Side Dish, Appetizer
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 pounds eggplant, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ pound tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup capers
  • ½ pound green olives
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped.
  1. Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add eggplant and salt and cook until it starts to soften. Cook for about 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently, until eggplant is softened. If eggplant is too dry, add additional olive oil.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, capers, green olives and raisins and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes, allowing all the flavors to meld.
  3. Remove from heat, let cool slightly, adjust salt to taste, and garnish with oregano. Serve warm as side dish or let cool completely and serve cold as antipasti.



  • 08 / 09 / 17 / 8:07 am

    I am so trying this! I love anything with olives and capers. I haven’t gotten any eggplants yet this year though 😕

    writes CarissaReply
    • 08 / 10 / 17 / 10:33 am

      YES! I love the combo of all these things so much – it’s honestly one of my favorite simplest, most flavorful things to make!

      writes VickyReply

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