• Prep Time:
  • Cooking Time:
  • Serves: 6 Servings


  • Recipe Submitted by on

Category: Italian, Appetizers

 Ingredients List

  • 2 lb Eggplant; peeled *
  • -- and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 c Extra virgin olive oil
  • - more, if necessary
  • 2 Garlic cloves; mashed
  • 1 md Yellow or red onion; peeled,
  • -- cut in half, and sliced
  • 2 c Sliced celery
  • 2 c Chopped ripe paste tomatoes
  • -- such as Roma
  • 3 Bay leaves (or more)
  • -- (break dried leaves in
  • -- 2 or 3 pieces; finely
  • -- chop fresh leaves after
  • -- removing petiole & midrib
  • 2 tb Red wine vinegar, or more
  • -- to taste
  • 2 tb Small capers
  • -OR- chopped large capers
  • 1/2 c Pitted kalamata olives
  • -OR other brine-cured olives
  • -- coarsely chopped
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


1/4 c Fresh basil leaves
sliced thinly at the
last minute
3 tb Toasted pine nuts
-OR- chopped walnuts
Chopped fresh parsley

Place the eggplant cubes in a colander and sprinkle them generously with
salt. Let stand at least 1/2 hour; rinse well under cold water, drain, and
pat dry with paper towels. Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large heavy skillet over
medium-high heat. Gradually add the eggplant, stirring constantly. Add more
oil as needed to keep the eggplant from sticking. As soon as all the
eggplant is in the pan, gradually add the garlic, onion and celery. Cook
until hot through but not browned, keeping the heat as high as possible.
Stir in the tomatoes, bay leaves, vinegar, capers, and olives. Mix well and
lower the heat to simmer. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the
eggplant is tender and the flavor is well developed. Season the caponata
with salt, pepper, and additional vinegar as needed. Add basil leaves,
nuts, and parsley. Serve hot, at room temperature, or chilled. Variation:
Add chopped anchovies, chunks of fish or shellfish, ham, Italian sausage,
or other cooked meat to the vegetables in the last few minutes of cooking

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