Plant Oriented Cooking

RECIPE: Sicilian Eggplant Caponata

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  • 2 medium-large-sized eggplants, chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped into 2 cm chunks
  • 150 g green olives, pitted and drained
  • 500ml tomato passata
  • 100ml white wine vinegar
  • 25g sugar
  • 40g capers, soaked for 1 hour, rinsed and with excess salt removed if salt-packed
  • 20g sultanas, soaked for 1 hour, drained and squeezed of excess liquid
  • 20g pinenuts
  • salt to taste
  • olive oil
  • a handful of basil leaves, for garnish


  1. Salt the eggplants for an hour, rinse to remove excess salt, pat dry thoroughly with a paper towel or cloth
  2. Fry the eggplant chunks without overcrowding the pan. When the chunks are crisp and golden brown, remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with absorbent paper towels.
  3. Fry the onion slices until they are translucent in colour. Add the celery chunks, the green olives and the tomato passata and simmer covered on low to medium heat for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the capers, the fried eggplant, the pine nuts, the sultanas, the vinegar and the sugar. Stir ingredients so they are well-combined, taste for and add salt.
  5. Transfer to serving bowl, cover and leave to rest for 2 hours at room temperature for the flavors to mix.
  6. Garnish with a couple of basil leaves and serve as an appetizer with plenty of bread on hand!)




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