Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Versatile Eggplant Caponata

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Caponata is a sweet and tangy eggplant dish very similar to the French ratatouille. It can be served by itself,  as a spread for crostini or crackers or mixed into a pasta dish.  If you have a vegetable garden or potager as my friend Sandra Jonas does, at this point  you will be going nuts looking for new ways to cook all that your garden is producing.  I remember last summer we couldn't find enough friends to give out our giant zucchinis to or recipes to prepare them.  Needless to say, this year we did not plant a garden and,in turn, are the happy recipients of the surplus from our neighbor's gardens.

This simple recipe for caponata should take care of the eggplants and tomatoes in your garden.  Serve it for lunch on a baguette or bring it along on a picnic.  You can also serve it on crostini or crackers as an appetizer. 

Serves 6


 1 medium eggplant, cubed
1 small red or spanish onion
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red pepper thinly sliced (optional)
1 1/2 pounds tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 tablespoon golden raisins
2 tablespoon drained capers
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Toasted baguette


1. Cook eggplant, red peppers and onion in olive oil until browned and tender, about 10 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook another 5 minutes.

2. Add tomatoes, drained capers, raisins. wine vinegar and sugar; simmer until the tomatoes break up slightly, 5 to 10 minutes approximately.
 3. Serve spread on toasted baguette. (As a variation, you might want to add a thin slice of mozzarella to the hot toasted baguette before spreading the caponata.)

Photo: Andrew Scrivani, NYT


  1. Thank you! Will try next weekend. Tonight I already have made a fig/brown sugar/almond mix for a round of Brie w friends for drinks!

  2. My mouth is watering!! Just brought in 4 eggplants, I'll be making this tomorrow.
    Thanks you!

    EYE, want to share your recipe??
    That Brie sounds delicious.

  3. Libby,

    I had forgotten about that recipe. It's a good one.


    There are other eggplant recipes in both case you get overwhelmed!

  4. I am not a big fan of eggplant, but this looks so savory I just might give it a try, possibly leaving out the raisins.


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