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Caponata (Sicilian Sweet-Sour Vegetables)

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(Recipe ID: 792)

Serves 6

Preparation time: 1hr. plus 20 minutes; Cook time: 35 minutes

Source: This recipe is an adaptation of one in "Cucina del Sole: A Celebration of Southern Italian Cooking" by Nancy Harmon Jenkins (Morrow, 2007)

Delicious dish that can be served as a appetizer, salad or vegetarian side dish.


Items indicated with an astrisk (*) available for purchase in the Avanti Savoia store. See below to add these items to your cart.

  • 2 Eggplants (about 2 lbs), cut into 1/2" cubes
  • Lightly salt eggplant to remove bitterness
  • 10 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil *
  • 1 large Yellow Onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Anchovy Filet, chopped
  • 3 medium Ripe Tomatoes (about 1 lb), cored, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 2 Ribs Celery, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinegar *
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste, preferably Maria Grammatico brand
  • 2 Tablespoons Golden Raisins
  • 2 Tablespoons Pine Nuts
  • 2 Tablespoons Capers, rinsed *
  • 12 Pitted Green Olives, such as cerignola, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Red Bell pepper, roasted, peeled, cored, seeded and thinly sliced *
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper *
  • 2 Tablespoons Basil, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Flat-Leaf Parsley, coarsely chopped


  1. Put eggplant into a colander set over a large bowl; toss with 1 tablespoon salt.  Top with a plate weighted down with several large cans; let drain for 1 hour.  Rinse eggplant and pat dry with paper towels.  Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add one-third of the eggplant and cook until golden brown, 7-8 minutes.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggplant to a bowl.  Repeat with oil and remaining eggplant.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and add remaining oil, onions, and anchovies; cook until soft, 14-15 minutes.  Add tomatoes and celery and increase heat to medium; cook until tomatoes release their juices, 5-6 minutes.  Add vinegar, sugar and tomato paste; cook until thickened, 3-4 minutes.  Add cooked eggplant, raisins, pine nuts, capers, olives, roasted peppers and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until hot.  Transfer to a plate; let cool slightly.  Top with basil and parsley.  Serve at room temperature.

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