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Eggplant Caponata

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5 from 2 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 as an appetizer 1x


Caponata is an Italian appetizer bursting with flavor! Eggplant and Mediterranean vegetables make a tangy, garlicky spread that’s perfect over crusty bread. 


  • 1 1/2 pounds eggplant (2 medium)
  • 1 celery rib
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 14-ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Basil, for garnish
  • Toasted pine nuts, for garnish (optional)


  1. Cut the eggplant into small cubes, about 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch. Dice the celery. Slice the red onion. Dice the red bell pepper. Mince the garlic.
  2. In a Dutch oven or large saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add the eggplant, celery, red pepper and red onion and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook 3 to 5 minutes until the eggplant and onions are browned and softened.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, capers, and salt. Cover and simmer on low for 10 minutes, stirring once, until very tender. Taste and add another pinch or two of salt. Serve warm, garnished with chopped basil and toasted pine nuts. Or, chill for up to 1 day and serve cold or at room temperature (the flavors taste even better after refrigerating). 
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Diet: Vegan