Photo of Roasted eggplant caponata by WW

Roasted eggplant caponata

Total Time
1 hr
20 min
40 min
Recipes for this Sicilian classic can vary widely, but all rely on a simple base of eggplant and tomatoes. The salty, sweet, and sour quality of our version comes from the addition of capers, olives, raisins, and vinegar. We also add hints of cinnamon and cocoa for a deeper flavor and a nod to Sicily’s North African and Spanish influences. This caponata can be made a day or two ahead, and making it in advance is a great idea because it gives the flavors an opportunity to meld. Serve it on its own or as a relish to complement grilled fish, roast chicken, or polenta.


Cooking spray

2 spray(s)

Uncooked eggplant(s)

1 large, trimmed

Olive oil

2 Tbsp

Kosher salt

½ tsp

Plum tomato(es)

6 medium, halved lengthwise

Uncooked onion(s)

1 medium, diced

Uncooked celery

3 rib(s), medium, stalks diced, leaves chopped

Canned tomato sauce

½ cup(s)

Golden seedless raisins

¼ cup(s)

Canned or bottled pickled green olive(s)

12 olive(s), coarsely chopped

Balsamic vinegar

3 Tbsp


2 Tbsp, rinsed and drained

Red pepper flakes


Unsweetened dark cocoa powder

1 tsp, optional

Ground cinnamon

¼ tsp, optional


  1. Adjust oven racks to middle and bottom positions. Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray 1 large and 1 medium baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  2. Cut eggplant into 3/4-inch cubes and toss with 1 tablespoon oil and salt on large baking sheet; spread in even layer. Arrange tomatoes, cut-side down, on medium baking sheet
  3. Roast eggplant on middle rack and tomatoes on bottom rack. Roast eggplant, stirring once or twice, until lightly browned and tender; roast tomatoes until skins are wrinkled and flesh is soft, about 20 minutes. Cool; pull off tomato skins and discard.
  4. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and diced celery; cook, stirring often, until vegetables are just tender, about 8 minutes. Add roasted tomatoes and tomato sauce, breaking up tomatoes with wooden spoon.
  5. Stir in raisins, olives, vinegar, capers, and pepper flakes until combined. Stir in cocoa and cinnamon, if using. Stir in eggplant; cook over low heat, stirring a few times, until flavors blend, about 8 minutes. Stir in celery leaves. If caponata is too thick, stir in water a tablespoon at a time until sauce coats vegetables. Serve warm, or cool and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.
  6. Serving size: about 1/2 cup