Eggplant Caponata


This vegetarian Italian relish is both sweet and savory. It’s perfect served on it’s own with some simple toasted crostini or as a topping for broiled fish or chicken.


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery (including leaves), diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 orange (or any color) bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon each, salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup drained capers
  • 3/4 cup diced green olives (pitted)
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 114 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted


  1. In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add eggplant, onion and celery. Saute over medium-low heat until eggplant is soft and starting to break, about 15 minutes. Add garlic, bell pepper and salt and pepper. Saute for another 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the capers, olives, vinegar and honey. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in the diced tomatoes and orange zest. Turn heat to medium high and bring mixture to a simmer. Stirring often, simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, taste, and add salt and pepper if necessary.
  2. Let cool completely and refrigerate over night. Bring to room temperature before serving and stir in pine nuts. Garnish with chopped celery leaves.


This is definitely better when made a day ahead so plan accordingly. It’s best served either slightly warm or room temperature.