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Eggplant Caponata

Three purple eggplant with green leaves lie on a rock surface

Eggplant Caponata

Submitted by Carina Cavagnaro, head chef, La Rana Bistro, Decorah, Iowa, and SSE board member

“I first experienced this dish when I was traveling in the United Kingdomit resonated with my Italian roots, and I have been making it ever since,” says Carina. “Rustic and versatile, it’s often served cold as an antipasto or appetizer or warm as a side to roast meat or as a pasta sauce or on crusty bread. I believe the sweet-and-sour sauce paired with the creamy eggplant and briny notes can sway even the biggest eggplant skeptic.”

‘Pingtung Long’ eggplant is a perfect choice to use in an appetizer or side dish. – Shop Now


1 large onion, chopped

3-4 celery stalks, including leaves, chopped

5 tablespoons olive oil

 2 ¼ pounds eggplant, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 tablespoon capers

20 green olives, pitted

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

¼ cup concentrated tomato paste

Salt and pepper


Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or skillet; then sauté the eggplant in batches so as to not overcrowd, until nicely golden and starting to soften. Add onion and celery and sauté until tender. Add remaining ingredients, stirring well. Cover and continue to cook for 15 minutes, removing the lid for the last 5 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste.