Roasted eggplant caponata
- Total Time
Recipes for this Sicilian classic vary widely, but all rely on a 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 deep flavor and a nod to Sicily’s North African and Spanish influences. Caponata can be made a day or two ahead, and making it in advance 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 spray2 spray(s)
uncooked eggplant(s)1 large, trimmed
olive oil2 Tbsp
kosher salt½ tsp
plum tomato(es)6 medium, halved lengthwise
uncooked onion(s)1 medium, diced
uncooked celery3 rib(s), medium, stalks diced, leaves chopped
canned tomato sauce½ cup(s)
golden seedless raisins¼ cup(s)
canned or bottled pickled green olive(s)12 item(s), coarsely chopped
balsamic vinegar3 Tbsp
capers2 Tbsp, rinsed and drained
red pepper flakes⅛ tsp
unsweetened dark cocoa powder1 tsp, optional
ground cinnamon¼ tsp, optional
- Adjust oven racks to middle and bottom positions. Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray 1 large and 1 medium baking sheet with nonstick spray.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Serving size: about 1/2 cup